National contractor Shepherd Construction has completed the new Bournville College which also marks the first phase of the new £70 million town centre on the former MG Rover plant at Longbridge in Birmingham.
Shepherd Construction, which carried out the £66 million project on behalf of developer St. Modwen, has handed over the 250,000 sq ft building and 4.2 acre campus to the college.
Designed by international architecture, urbanism and design practice Broadway Malyan, the college is creating a striking landmark in the area and will act as a gateway to the new Longbridge town under the regeneration planned by St. Modwen and joint landowner Advantage West Midlands over the next 15 years.
The new building is hinged around a dramatic linear central spine which houses the classrooms. The spine then links to ‘the Street’ which will act as the main social heart of the college and provide a connection to the blocks around the perimeter that will be occupied by vocational study areas for motor vehicle maintenance, hair and beauty, and construction. The vocational areas include glazed sections facing onto the street which will provide ‘active frontages’ to passers-by.
The Learning and Resource Centre, which will eventually face the new town square as part of the site’s masterplan, has been designed to present a strong welcoming image with a fully glazed façade wrapped by 34 huge glulam beams
Peter Millett, managing director for Shepherd Construction’s West Division commented: “We’re delighted to hand over the college. Not only will it provide fantastic modern facilities and a superb learning environment for the local community but the building also symbolises a new era for Longbridge.”
Salim Hussain, Associate at Broadway Malyan, said: “Our education sector experts have delivered a state-of-the-art further education facility that will provide students and staff with one of the most contemporary learning environments in Europe, and this has been achieved by close partnering with stakeholders, including the College and Birmingham City Council, all of whom have widely endorsed the design.
“As one of the last of the major Learning and Skills Council-funded projects, the College has been designed as an assertive building to redefine the image of the College, maximise the potential of the landmark site and, as the first part of a wider masterplan, ensure the campus is a bold catalyst in the redevelopment and regeneration of the wider Longbridge area.”
Mark Batchelor, construction manager for St. Modwen said: “The completion of this construction project is a huge milestone for Longbridge. The new Bournville College is a hugely impressive building and a real landmark for the area. However, while this project is now complete, we are also in the process of constructing 115 new homes and a myplace youth centre here at Longbridge. Remediation work on the wider town centre project is underway and construction work is due to commence on the £70 million development before the end of the year.”
Norman Cave, Principal of Bournville College added: “This is a project that has been six years in the making from conception to completion. We’ve been waiting with anticipation for this milestone moment and are pleased about starting a new chapter in the history of Bournville College.”