Interserve Press Office | Mar 17, 2014
Interserve, the international support services and construction group, has started work on a new sixth-form centre, known as ‘Central Sixth’ at Sandwell College in the West Midlands. The contract follows the successful handover by Interserve in 2012 of the £77 million new Sandwell College. The new Central Sixth facility will open for students in September 2014.
Following detailed design and planning work carried out by Sandwell Council and Sandwell College, the new Central Sixth will be created inside a remodelled building, well known in the area as ‘The Public’, formerly home to a variety of arts and business enterprises.
The new Central Sixth will not only represent a major investment in education, it will also support a variety of arts-based activities, which will be open to the public from 2015. Once the estimated £5.9 million remodelling work is completed, a newly renovated café and exhibition space will be opened.
The new Central Sixth will form an A Level hub for Sandwell College that will bring hundreds of new students to the area, supporting numerous new jobs, both at the college and in surrounding businesses. A business support centre will be based on the campus to assist start-up companies.
Commenting on the project, Sandwell College Vice-Principal, Scott Upton said:
“Since we opened our new college in 2012, we have seen a huge demand for places, proving that if you build an inspirational learning environment, students from miles around will want to benefit from it.
“We believe our sympathetic remodelling of ‘The Public’ will amaze, appeal to and attract students and parents, giving us the opportunity to expand and our learners a fantastic and inspiring environment, where they can achieve their full potential.
“We're very excited to be pushing this project forward for the people of Sandwell and the West Midlands. Local traders have already praised the college for increasing takings on the High Street and the new campus can only add to this.
“We're aiming for the top and we want to work with students who are doing the same.”
The sympathetic remodelling of ‘The Public’ will see many of the original spaces used as seminar and breakout learning areas, while a state-of-the-art lecture theatre will also be built. Improvements will also be made to the building, with new accessibility features, including better access between floors.
Interserve project manager, Dan Evans says: “In addition to Sandwell College, we have built a lot of educational facilities in and around Sandwell, working with the council’s strategic partner Sandwell Futures Ltd.
“By working in partnership with Sandwell College and Sandwell Council, we are able to create a scheme that will retain the uniqueness of the old building, whilst bringing in the classroom and learning assets needed to support the needs of students and staff.
“We have recently been working with our existing supply chain to involve as many local companies as possible in the remodelling and transformation process. Throughout the remodelling process, we will be focusing on delivering the highest quality of craftsmanship to mirror the fantastic existing Sandwell College facility, which we previously delivered on time and on budget.
“By taking the same partnership approach to this remodelling process, once completed, the new Central Sixth will be an inspiring teaching facility that will rival any other in the region and the UK as a whole.”
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Interserve's vision is to redefine the future for people and places. It is one of the world’s foremost support services and construction companies, operating in the public and private sectors in the UK and internationally, offering advice, design, construction, equipment, facilities management and front-line services. Interserve is based in the UK and is listed in the FTSE 250 index. The Group employs some 50,000 people worldwide and in 2013 generated gross revenue of £2.6 billion.
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