College gets the cash to revive 40 year old nine storey iconic tower block

EDUCATION in Fenland and West Norfolk got another boost this week with the announcement of a �10 million refurbishment of a 9,000 square metre college building that’s been empty since September.

The nine-storey tower block at the College of West Anglia has dominated the Kings Lynn skyline for more than 40 years but it has been empty since September.

The structure needs to have asbestos removed and the lifts upgraded and it wasn’t practical to undertake the work in a piecemeal fashion. Students were moved out at the end of the last academic year ready for the major refit.

The internal works will include complete new floor layouts as well as new heating, lighting and lift systems and the project is expected to be completed by summer 2013

The plan includes the replacement of all the windows, re-cladding the exterior and building an extension to the ground floor for a new student restaurant and social area.

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The college is spending a total of �28 million on its sites at Lynn and Isle, in Wisbech, with a new technology block at each campus and a variety of other changes and refurbishments. The �10 million bill for the tower block is being helped by a �2 million grant from the Skills Funding Agency.

Principal David Pomfret said: “The tower block is a major facility for the college and the local community. Whilst we are working to a very tight budget, I believe the plans are exciting and will provide excellent educational facilities for years to come. We are very keen for the local community to see what we are proposing to do and I look forward to receiving their views.”

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The redevelopment is a key aspect of the college’s improvement plan which will also see brand new technology centres on both the King’s Lynn campus, opening September, and the Isle campus in Wisbech which is expected to be completed for Easter 2013.

The opening of the refurbished tower block in summer 2013 will also enable the college to move out of a range of temporary accommodation

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