New £6.6M college STEM centre makes significant headway for local students

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New £6.6M college STEM centre makes significant headway for local students

A new Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) centre at Cadbury Sixth Form College in Birmingham is making great headway for local students

Built to support the growth of T-Levels, the new £6.6million centre will be focussed on delivering a new technical curriculum responding to a growing demand to provide specialist teaching facilities and learning for students.

From inception, sustainability has been at the heart of the building’s design. A strategic focus has been implemented to exceed regulatory energy performance standards, whilst modern technologies have also been used to provide heat and lighting that reduce carbon emissions, underpinning the college’s journey to Net Carbon Zero.

The project makes up Phase 2 of the college’s ambition to position itself as a centre for ‘aspirational advanced learning for young people’, and follows the opening of its £3.5 million Science City in 2021.

To date, the steel frame has been erected and concrete flooring has been laid. The roof-work and façade of the building has begun and building contractor, Speller Metcalfe, is working alongside Sandwell College to ensure that the new building meets the needs of students, staff and the local community.

Julia Stevens, Principal of Cadbury Sixth Form College, commented: “We’re excited by the progress of the new STEM centre, which will provide students with even more opportunities by being able to study in state-of-the-art facilities. When the doors open, the new building will allow students to get hands on and see what industry looks like, preparing them for life after college — whether that be for university or straight into a job. This will also be a huge benefit to the wider community.”

Cadbury Sixth Form College is one of Birmingham’s specialist sixth form colleges and forms part of the Sandwell College family, providing 16–19-year-olds with the opportunity to study A Levels, BTEC qualifications and a programme of vocational subjects across 45 advanced level subjects.

The new STEM centre will reach across two stories and will include dedicated suites for Digital Media, Health, Computer Aided Design [CAD] and Employee Engagement whilst sectors such as Design, Planning and Surveying, Science and Construction will also benefit from cutting-edge facilities. Alongside dedicated areas, a flexible study and social space will be available for all students and will also be available to hire as an external event space.

On the first floor, students will have access to traditional classrooms, an engineering IT room, media suite and a practical healthcare learning space. A ‘show’ classroom will also be included in the build.

Throughout the build, the Speller Metcalfe team will be working closely with the college’s construction students, helping to provide an opportunity to use the scheme as a learning tool both during the construction phase and beyond.

“This project is particularly poignant for Speller Metcalfe, as many of our colleagues come from STEM backgrounds,” said Rob Lashford, divisional director at the company.

“We are delighted to be working with Cadbury Sixth Form College to give students access to the best training and facilities, and providing them with ‘real life’ learning environments and opportunities to best prepare them for the start of their careers.”

Working alongside Broadway Malyan architects, the project is set to complete in summer 2023.

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