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Former students give college new look

Posted onPosted on 11th Jul
Former students give college new look

Former construction students at West Nottinghamshire College are putting their skills into practice on its multi-million pound redevelopment.

That’s because contractors behind the latest phase of a major revamp of the college’s Derby Road campus in Mansfield have all studied there.

Nottingham building firm J Tomlinson Limited and its sub-contractor, Keyclad Limited, have spent the last 15 months re-cladding several buildings including six-storey tower, three-storey block, learning resource centre and higher education centre, to rejuvenate the site’s visual appearance.

J Tomlinson is also transforming a former trades building into a state-of-the-art visual art and design centre boasting industry-standard facilities, modern teaching space and bright and airy exhibition areas.

The company’s managing director of projects, Martin Gallagher, studied on a range of courses at the college between 1985 and 1992 including the City & Guilds advanced certificate in carpentry and joinery.

He was classmates with Andy Lee – contracts manager at Belper-based Keyclad – from 1989 to 1992 when the pair gained BTEC ONC and HNC qualifications in building studies, with Andy having previously studied the First Certificate in Construction at the college.

J Tomlinson’s project manager, Derek I’Anson, attended the college on block-release, and later on day-release, as an apprentice joiner from 1978-1984 when all construction courses were run from Derby Road.

Meanwhile, the firm’s site manager, Craig Smallman, recently completed his NVQ Level 6 diploma in construction site management and civil engineering through the college, which he combined with his work commitments.

Principal and chief executive Dame Asha Khemka said: “It was great to learn of the team’s links with the college. Our entire ethos is about equipping people with the skills and training to carve out successful careers and Martin, Derek, Craig and Andy have certainly achieved that.

“The scheme required a talented and technically-proficient management team to deliver our vision of providing a modern, inspirational campus fit for 21st century learning and the results are looking very impressive indeed.

“Our new-look six-storey tower is looking particularly striking and serves as a truly iconic landmark on the gateway to Mansfield.”

Martin Gallagher said: “We are very pleased to be a part of the team working on this major redevelopment at West Nottinghamshire College. Having studied here myself, it’s a project close to my heart.

“This challenging project has effectively utilised all of our team’s skills and hopefully, as well as helping to develop an educational environment that positively influences and impacts on learning, our team may have also demonstrated to students that qualifications from the college will stand them in good stead in their future careers.”

Redevelopment of the campus is due for completion in September 2014 as part of the college’s £40 million investment in its building and facilities across Mansfield and Ashfield.

In addition to installing more than 2,000 of the distinctive red, dark grey and sand-coloured external tiles that characterise the site, windows have been replaced, new paving laid and the footbridge to the main entrance fully-refurbished.

It means all buildings will share the same contemporary look as their newer counterparts, with its £5 million creative arts centre, £2.5 million sports hall and £11 million lifestyle academy setting the template for the new-look campus when they opened between 2011 and 2013.

Pictured in front of the newly re-clad six-storey tower are (from left) Tom Stevens, the college’s executive director of capital projects and estates; Dame Asha Khemka, Martin Gallagher, Craig Smallman, Derek I’Anson and Andy Lee.