Posted 3 October 2002CONSTRUCTION WORK on a state of the art Learning Resources and Engineering Design Centre at Harper Adams University College, near Newport, Shropshire, began last week.
The £3 million centre is a new-build project that will significantly enhance the learning environment at Harper Adams, providing 2,600 square metres of accommodation over two floors.
The project, to be built by Thomas Vale Construction, is due to take twelve months and when finished it will house the college library and open access computer terminals for students as well as offices for library staff, learning support tutors and IT support staff.
In addition, the building will contain a suite of engineering design 'laboratories', generously sponsored by JCB Ltd, containing state of the art and highly specialist IT equipment.
The building is being constructed at the heart of the Harper Adams campus, adjacent to academic staff offices, teaching accommodation and residential facilities. A 'piazza' at the front of the building will lead to a spacious entrance hall and main corridor, which will double as an exhibition area and informal meeting space.
A new coffee bar will be built to overlook the college's sports grounds, offering spectators easy access to refreshments.
The building will use a high proportion of natural materials and will feature energy saving concepts such as rainwater harvesting and the use of natural ventilation to cool the open spaces within the centre.
Speaking about the project at Harper Adams' Graduation Ceremony on September 20, the University College's Chairman of Governors Mr Tony Burgess said: "We expect the building, costing just over £3 million in total to be complete in time for the start of the 2003/2004 academic year.
"This is an exciting new development for Harper Adams and one which we hope will become a focal point for the college site. It also indicates clearly our confidence in the future of this institution and of the sectors we support."