Work on a two-storey collaborative and integrated learning space at New College Durham is now complete. Named T.H.E. Hub (Technical and Higher Education Hub), the extension will provide the college with a specialist building to deliver higher and technical level skills qualifications.
The £11 million state-of-the-art education facility was designed by Ryder Architecture and delivered by County Durham-headquartered contractor, Esh Construction.
Located at the college’s Framwellgate Moor Campus, T.H.E Hub features 23 new teaching spaces including an immersive suite, an early years foundation stage nursery, a sensory room, a hospital ward, a dental suite, an E-Sports arena, cyber security facilities, specialist I.T. classrooms and science laboratories. In addition, the building has several collaborative and break out spaces for students to work and socialise in a modern environment.
Grant Watson, construction manager at Esh Construction, said: “We are proud to have delivered this fantastic new learning space, which provides high quality and modern facilities for the students and staff at New College Durham.
“Throughout the scheme we worked hard to maximise the social and economic benefits for the local area. Through our commitment to employing locally, 91% of the operatives on site were North East residents and we created eleven new apprenticeship opportunities, all of which currently study at the college. We provided 90 days of T-Level student placements as well as two five-day work placements for Level 3 Advanced Plumbing students.”
Andy Broadbent, Principal and CEO of New College Durham, said: “We are thrilled to welcome our students into the T.H.E. Hub. This state-of-the-art facility embodies our mission to empower our learners with the skills and knowledge they need for a successful future. It's not just a building; it's a gateway to careers.
“We are delighted to have worked with Esh Construction to provide this fantastic learning environment for our staff and students, ensuring throughout the project that social value for the local area was a top priority.”
Students and teaching staff officially moved into the building on September 18th. Luca, who will be studying T-Level in Health in T.H.E Hub, said: “There's a lot space, it looks like it'll be easier to study in here. There’s a lot more new technology and I think it'll help with my future and progressing with my course; I'm thinking of going to university or maybe an apprenticeship."
The development was procured via the Procure Partnerships Framework and delivered in partnership with Turner & Townsend, Ryder Architecture, Jasper Kerr Consulting Engineers, TGA Consulting Engineers and Howarth Litchfield.