Students move to temporary campus as work begins on College of West Anglia revamp

HUNDREDS of students are being moved into temporary accommodation as work begins on the first phase of the College of West Anglia’s �35m redevelopment.

Contractors are due to begin removing asbestos, as part of an �8m refurbishment of the 1970s tower block at the College of West Anglia’s Tennyson Avenue site.

A new �5.5m technolgy building is also planned on the campus.

College principal David Pomfret said hundreds of students who would normally be taught in the block will be moved into a temporary campus at Marsh Lane, in Gaywood.

Four hundred students on health, case and childhood studies courses will be taught at the former Alderman Jackson School.

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“Any student that should have been in the tower block should be in accommodation of at least the same quality,” said Mr Pomfret.

“We’ve made some significant building modifications this summer. We’ve overhauled that facility and made it fit for purpose.”

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Free shuttle buses will be running daily between the main CoWA campus, in Tennyson Avenue, and Marsh Lane.

Norfolk Green buses will also be stopping at the junction of Marsh Lane and Gaywood Road, to drop off and pick up students.

A further 200 from the sports faculty will be moving to new teaching accommodation which has been built at Lynnsport.

Sports facilities at the college are being converted into library and teaching accommodation. Temporary classrooms have also been built on site.

Mr Pomfret said the college would lose just over 130 parking spaces to make way for the temporary blocks.

But with more than 600 students and 150 staff being transferred to Marsh Lane and Lynnsport, there would be reduced need for parking at the Tennyson Avenue site.

Term will be starting a week late for CoWA’s 2,000 or so full-time students in King’s Lynn.

First years will start their studies on Monday, September 12. Second years will return a week later.

Plans to move to new purpose-built campuses in King’s Lynn and March, costing more then �300m, were abandoned two years ago, when the government’s Learning and Skills Council ran out of money.

But yesterday Mr Pomfret said West Norfolk council, Norfolk County Council and the Schools Funding Agency had put around �4m into the new technology block, with the college finding the remainder of the money.

“It’s going to be really key to meeting the needs of one of the most important employment sectors locally, engineering,” he said.

The new block will accommodate students studying engineering, welding, electrical installation, electronics and joinery when it opens in 2012.

Money for the refurbishment of the tower block is coming from the college’s own pocket and loans.

Mr Pomfret said work on both the tower and the new engineering block were expected to be completed in time for the start of the 1012 - 13 academic year.

Further improvements totalling more than �20m are due to be made over the following four years.

Mr Pomfret said the money would come from a combination of government grants, land disposals, loans and from the college’s own sources of income.

“We’d expect to make a significant case for any funds that are available,” he said.

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