A multi-million pound project to create the new North Somerset Enterprise and Technology College (NSETC) in Weston-super-Mare is well under way.
Building work on the purpose-built premises at the Junction 21 Enterprise Area is on schedule to be complete in July 2016. The building will then open its doors to its first students in September 2016.
Last November, BAM Construct UK was awarded the £12 million contract to build the centre, which is part of the Weston College Group.
Over the next four weeks, the foundations will be laid for the main building and adjoining sports hall, and by the end of July work is set to start on the structure’s steel frame.
Dr Paul Phillips OBE, Principal and Chief Executive of NSETC sponsor Weston College said: “This plot of land is being transformed into a place for innovative, work-related, learning. “This project reinforces the relationship between the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership, Weston College, and North Somerset Council. It recognises the massive work which has been done with the Department for Education to make this development happen.”
NSETC will house specialist facilities dedicated to the STEM subjects: Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. The ground floor will house engineering and design technology workshops, a large lecture theatre and cafeteria. The first floor will contain top-of-the-range IT suites, classrooms and seminar rooms, food technology, textiles and art workshops and an open-plan library.
The top floor will feature science laboratories and several ‘super labs’, which will run the length of the building. A terraced area will allow students to conduct outdoor experiments safely, and there will be communal areas on each floor to provide work spaces for the students and for business workshops.
NSETC Principal Karen Cornick said: “Engineering and design technology are a major part of the STEM vision at NSETC. “Specialist workshops and teaching spaces,
alongside high-spec computer rooms, will allow this to become a reality for students. “The fact that this is the only school in England to be built within an enterprise zone means that, from the start, we are part of a wider development in Weston which focuses on developing STEM training, expertise and employment within the region.”
Junction 21 Enterprise Marketing Group said; “We welcome the decision of NSETC to choose Junction 21 for its permanent home. When fully operational we see the presence of a campus equipping young people with skills valued by business as powerful catalyst for further long-term investment; particularly as the skills agenda is increasingly placed high on the agenda of decision makers thinking about expansion or relocation.”