Laying the foundations for a new generation of internationally-aware students

By Adrian Frost, Assistant Principal, 15 November 2011

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!