THE £12 million contract to create a brand new home for the North Somerset Enterprise and Technology College (NSETC) has been awarded to BAM Construction Ltd.
The UK-wide construction company will build the three-storey campus at the Enterprise Area near junction 21 of the M5, north of Weston-super-Mare.
Following a period of consultation and a formal planning application to North Somerset Council, the building work is likely to start next spring, with completion scheduled for July 2016, ahead of the new building opening in September.
Nick Goff, Regional Director for BAM Construction, said:
“We’re very proud to have been appointed to this scheme. We’ve put in a huge effort into understanding the key drivers of the framework, including the management of the design process, our client’s aspirations and funding. The competence and experience of our team is also a crucial aspect of what BAM brings to our buildings. It’s going to be a very special building for us to work on.”
The regional construction company – which has offices in Bristol, Exeter and Cardiff – is part of BAM Construct UK. It is behind major west country developments like Exeter University’s Living Systems Institute, the extensive refurbishment of MShed (the former Bristol Museum), and Plymouth University Roland Levinsky Building. It was the first construction company in the region to achieve Construction Skills status for its entire training and development programme to help people learn new skills and to help young people into careers.
Leader of North Somerset Council, Councillor Nigel Ashton said:
“The Enterprise and Technical College is key to our success in the region, developing people with the skills and knowledge to support our ambitions for jobs and business growth.
“We already have a skilled local workforce, and NSETC development will ensure we continue to grow a strong capable talent pool to meet employers’ needs.”
Dr Paul Phillips OBE, Principal and Chief Executive of Weston College, which sponsors NSETC, added:
“The awarding of the contract to BAM Construction is a very significant step in the progress of NSETC and we very much look forward to seeing the opening of a building which will house some of the brightest and best North Somerset has to offer a 21st century workforce.”
NSETC is presently housed at Weston College’s South West Skills Campus on Locking Road, and opened its doors for the first time in September 2014.
The new 6,400 sq metre building, will include a purpose-built floor dedicated to science, complete with ‘super-labs’ and a terrace on which to conduct outdoor experiments. It also has technology and enterprises spaces, and in addition a dedicated all-weather sports pitch, sports hall, canteen and lecture theatre.
When the new campus opens in September 2016, NSETC will be able to accommodate 700 students with flexibility to house more should applications to the school increase.
It is a specialist Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) College that combines excellence of teaching with superb facilities and industry support. Students are encouraged to wear smart business dress and to observe industry hours.
The development, sponsored by Weston College, North Somerset Council, North Bristol NHS Trust and the University of the West of England, (UWE) has been catalysed by involvement of key figures across the industrial and commercial sector.
Linda Burlison, Weston College Assistant Principal (Systems and Resources) oversaw the bidding process for the contract. She said:
“There was a pre-qualification tender process which whittled down the bidders to two, and we eventually awarded the contract to BAM Construction on the basis of the design they submitted, which we felt really fitted with the vision we have for NSETC.
Principal of NSETC, Karen Cornick added:
“This is a unique opportunity to build and develop a different kind of school; the first of its kind in an Enterprise Area.
“The flagship NSETC will deliver a Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) focused curriculum within a business and entrepreneurial environment.
“These state-of-the-art facilities will ensure we offer a cutting-edge educational experience for all our students, alongside the strong business links that are being forged.”
Education and healthcare construction specialists BAM will build the NSETC to BREEAM Very Good standards of sustainability with ground source heat pumps, super-insulation and photo-voltaic panels.
Bristol-based BAM Construction Bid Manager, Pat Griffin said:
“It is a fantastic opportunity for us to work with Weston College on this innovative quality project.”
Clifton-based Stride Treglown’s Divisional Director, architect, Caroline Mayes, added:
“We are very pleased to have the opportunity to realise this exciting educational vision for NSETC in a tailor-made building.”