College's vision for the future

PUBLISHED: 15:36 01 February 2008 | UPDATED: 12:18 29 April 2010

College’s vision for the future

College's vision for the future

MULTI-million-pound land sales are set to fund this stunning and visionary campus for the 21st Century set within a 95-acre site on the outskirts of March. Nestling to the west of the A141, between Gaul Road and Burrowmoor Road, the 14,000-square metre gl

College’s vision for the future

MULTI-million-pound land sales are set to fund this stunning and visionary campus for the 21st Century set within a 95-acre site on the outskirts of March.

Nestling to the west of the A141, between Gaul Road and Burrowmoor Road, the 14,000-square metre glass-walled campus promises to be "a flagship for the College of West Anglia".

It's been designed to represent "an ethos of excellence" with an atrium linking two wings of the two-storey college with part of the grounds given over to sports fields, glasshouses and a state-of-the-art equine centre.

Funding the college, which could open as early as January 2010, will depend on how quickly the college finds a buyer for its current site in Wisbech which is expected to be sold for housing.

Within the main college will be workshops, studios, classrooms, IT rooms, catering, retail, staff and support facilities. Courses will range from construction trades, performing arts and media, sport and leisure, hair and beauty, A-levels, health and social care and childcare, art and design, equine and animal care vocational skills.

But the college aims to cover much more than that, for included in a further 5,300 square metres will be agricultural, equine and small animal care buildings. The equine centre will provide both indoor and outdoor arenas, paddocks, animal care facilities, tractor training unit, horticultural potting shed and store, polytunnels, energy centre, and outdoor floodlit Astroturf sports pitches in addition to indoor sports facilities. There will even be a dog grooming centre.

Scale and scope of the design is immense, as architects Bond Bryan convey in their newly-published design statements.

"The development provides an opportunity to create one cohesive campus layout, rationalising accommodation and support facilities to promote an efficient and safe environment for all users," says the firm.

The atrium is at the heart of the campus, which will contain reception, shops, an advice centre and coffee shop.

"As the atrium flows through the building, it increases in size, providing refectory and social spaces with views across the lake and horticultural areas beyond," says Bond Bryan.

"The final function of the atrium will be to act as a return air path for the air circulation system."

Solar hot water, biomass boilers, and roofs with a "significant proportion of translucent or clear covering" will support a green agenda, say the architects.

The design and access statement, now being considered by Fenland District Council, says little about a possible country park proposed for the adjoining 100 acres but plans for that can be expected shortly.

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