Opening of The New Language Centre - Final Update
Story by Adrian Frost (Assistant Pricipal) 22 June 2012
Friday 22nd June saw the official opening of the new £800,000 Languages Centre, sited on the north boundary of the college campus, by the Mayor of Colchester Chris Arnold and his wife Mayoress Amanda Arnold accompanied by Eddie Ross (Languages Department), Andy Beatty (Chair of Governors) and Ian MacNaughton (Principal).
As tradition dictates, after a short speech the Mayor cut a ribbon sealing the doors to the new teaching accommodation, formally marking the beginning of a new chapter in the history of modern foreign language teaching at the college. This was followed by a few words from Eddie Ross, who has been with the college since the beginning and who has lovingly preserved an example of the more primitive facilities from earlier days, in the form of the original tape recorder that he was issued on his first day!
As Ian MacNaughton explained when work on the Languages Centre was first begun: “The centre will be the foundation for a new generation of internationally-aware students. The timing couldn't be more appropriate as the college's work in this area has just been recognised by our receipt of The British Council’s prestigious International School Award."
After the official opening ceremony the Mayor and Mayoress took the opportunity to brush up on their Italian speaking skills alongside students from the International Baccalaureate course, before being treated to a performance from some of the college musicians.
Story by Josh Cox (Student Reporter) 29 March 2012
As the language centre is almost entirely done, in this article we're going to give you a quick preview into what you should be expecting from the new building. Work from Gipping construction is nearly finished, and the only thing that needs to be done now is the implementation of furniture and college resources to make the language centre complete. Here are some photos to give an inside look to the language centre:
All of the classrooms in the new Language Centre will be equipped with new smart-boards, which will be particularly helpful with interactive features that come with some language textbooks. In addition, this allows teachers to save lesson notes as pdf. files and email them to students.
Click on the images to view an enlarged version
|The entrance to the Language Centre as viewed from the inside. From here it's just about possible to make out the IT site which is adjacent to the Language Centre. This view will become quite familiar to those taking a language course at the college!
||One of the hallways inside the language centre and the only one with a painted wall. This particular junction leads off into two large classrooms which will host a variety of language lessons.
||The future staff room for the language centre. With a lot of windows for fresh air and sunlight, it will be a sure hit with teachers!
||One of the new classrooms inside the language centre. Fortunately and unfortunately, all of the classrooms in the new language centre are so big that it was difficult to get a properly-angled photograph of an entire room! As space is currently a problem with language courses, this will be a massive improvement.
||This picture shows the design of the building, which is quite interesting and irregular. Soon enough people will be able to walk up to the building for themselves and take a look.
Story by Josh Cox (Student Reporter) 22 February 2012
We're seeing good progress on the building. The construction company reports that the building works are slightly ahead of schedule and that the building will be up and running in April. Hopefully we'll be getting to see some blue skies and sun in the next few, months, which should highlight the architectural design of the building nicely. The complex and interesting zinc clad roof has been completed one week ahead of schedule. This probably helped negate some effects of the adverse weather conditions that have been around lately. The wall plastering is 90% done, but was slightly delayed by snow as the cold would cause plaster to crack if it were newly applied. In addition, the zinc covering is completed.
Progress over the next few months will be on the interior of the building, with ground-works starting soon which includes the steps, footpaths and tarmac. Decoration is also starting in February so we'll be getting some colours in. The electrical work is being done as well, so we're able to use projectors and laptops. A must-have for language studies.
Story by Josh Cox (Student Reporter) 24 January 2012
This week Josh Cox is getting some personal insights into the construction business from Gipping Construction Projects Manager
Ted Studd, who is currently contracting the college’s new
JC: Ted how long have you been in the construction business, and specifically working for Gipping Construction?
TS: I've been in the construction industry for over thirty two years and with Gipping Construction for the last eight years. I have also worked with some of the Gipping people before in other firms so I know them well.
JC: Is this your first time working on an educational building?
TS: No, I've done about ten public buildings including schools and hospitals. My last job was at a primary school in Dagenham.
JC: Is educational/public building your speciality?
"It has been a pleasure to work here"
TS: No, but I'm used to it. I know a lot what's going to happen in these types of buildings, how they are used and how the people interact with them. This really helps me get the specifications and details right. Understand what the end user needs is critical to the build process and can save time and creates a more efficient process which is beneficial to the contractor and the client.
JC: How have you found the atmosphere at this college?
TS: Very good, no problems at all. It's a good college and seems to be well-run. The staff have made us very welcome and we have a very good on-going relationship with them, the communications are clear and helpful. It has been a pleasure to work here.
JC: Once you finish working on the language centre, what will you be doing next?
TS: I don't know. There will be another project, it could be anything. Whatever comes up, whatever's next to do on the books, basically. Gipping have many projects already started and others ready to start. Part of the excitement of this work is not knowing what comes next, the variety is always good.
JC: What is your favourite building that you've worked on?
TS: Well there's not a favourite, really. I like the one off projects like this building. You know, it's not like housing, where you do one after the other of the same thing. You go in, you do this building, and no-one's going to build another one like that. It is nice to travel round and see the buildings you have worked on it give you a real sense of achievement and pride especially when it has all worked out well, like here.
That’s all for this week. Call back next time for more updates on the Languages Centre.
Story by Josh Cox (Student Reporter). Photos by Poppy O'Neill (Student Photographer). 14 December 2011
As we finish off for the year of 2011 at Colchester Sixth Form College, fellow students may notice that the new Languages Centre which shall be opened soon, is looking well on the way to completion. Just how far along is the building, you may ask? My photographer and I spoke with site manager Ted Studd and here's what we learned:
Construction work is progressing quickly, with the building looking closer and closer to the final product each week. According to Gripping Construction, the work being done on the roof and brick-work is nearly completed, as can be seen from the photos. Work on the flat-roof is also underway and should be completed within the next few weeks. A particularly good spot to view the progress on the building, and on the roof in particular is the Lecture Theatre in room 630.
Over the Christmas break, more work will be done on making the building watertight. A protective membrane will be added to the building which will keep out most water. The building will also become more waterproof as more windows are put into place, as currently only 35% of windows are installed.
Over all, the building is looking good and should be completed in the spring term. I'm sure all of us who study languages at the college will be pleased with a new building to have classes in. This will also create more space in the Midsite and North Site buildings for other subjects.
Laying the foundations for a new generation of internationally-aware students
Anyone wandering across the north of the campus during recent months could have truthfully be accused of 'dragging their feet' as whole area was covered in 130 cubic meters of concrete! For some days the staff and students had been awaiting the much-anticipated 'Concrete Day' during which all the concrete was delivered in one continuous ‘pour’.
Principal Ian MacNaughton said: " It was no easy task to deliver such a huge amount of material to a busy, town-centre site: a task involving a team of contractors, 26 concrete mixer lorries and an ex-army bridge. The fact that this was able to be so effectively and safely completed during one college day, without any disruption to classes is a great credit to the hard work of all involved.
The concrete forms the foundations for the new £800,000 language centre which is progressing at a pace on the north boundary of the college campus. It is beginning to provide a significant visual statement for those entering Colchester from the West Way. The centre will in turn be the foundation for a new generation of internationally-aware students. The timing couldn't be more appropriate as the college's work in this area has just been recognised by our receipt of The British Council’s prestigious International School Award."
The main contractor Gipping Construction from Ipswich are providing an excellent service and have integrated into the college’s operation seamlessly. The contractors have embraced working at the college in many ways from taking full advantage of the wonderful catering provision on campus to providing access for the college’s Archaeology students to dig through a pile of excavation spoil. On their first scrape they unearthed a Roman coin and various other interesting fines to the delight of both staff and the students.
The design and engineering of the building is under the care of a design team headed by the colleges architect Bob Ward of Roff Marsh Partnership Ltd Stanway. The full design team are, Davis Burton Sweetlove Ltd Structural Engineers of Chelmsford, Daniel Connel Partnership of Colchester for the CDM, Fleuty & Robinson of Braintree as the QS and The Energy Practice of Colchester for the M&E.
The project to due to run through to completion in April 2012, obviously subject to the great British weather!
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