A formal opening ceremony at The Bournemouth & Poole College’s new flagship teaching facility at the North Road site was held this week. The college were thrilled to welcome back film and stage actor, and former Performing Arts student, Matthew Flynn to cut the ribbon and officially open the new building.
Local dignitaries and VIPs were invited on a lively tour of the superb £12m building at the heart of the college - home to a new theatre, science laboratories, a Learning resource centre, a Digital Media Suite, 44 new teaching spaces and more.
Performing Arts students demonstrated their enthusiasm for their new venue with song and dance routines, as invited guest were treated to a close up inspection of the investment.
New college Principal Diane Grannell led the appreciation for architect Mark Ogden, of Perkins Ogden and the construction company Willmott Dixon for delivering the building on time and to budget.
Diane said: “The North Road site feels like a totally new campus. It's modern, vibrant and reflects our ambition for the college and for our students.
“Don’t forget, this is really all about the students and we believe we have created a great environment for them to learn and develop.”
The new building, which took about 18 months to construct, houses a mix of facilities for Performing Arts, Music, Media, Applied Science and Health and Social Care. Many rooms feature hi-tech equipment supplied by Poole company Hugh Symons AV.
Diane said: “It is an eclectic mix, but it works and there is a real buzz around the place.”
The facilities are designed to be part of the wider community of Poole and the Wessex Youth orchestra has already made its new base in the building. People from the area will be encouraged to use the facilities and develop their own potential.
Three Performing Arts students Lauren Milward from Poole, Ellie Flanagan from Southbourne and Amy Goodfellow, who travels from Sherborne every day for her course, all gave the new building an ‘A Star’ rating.
Lauren said: “ We have our fond memories of the Jellicoe Theatre in Constitution Hill but the atmosphere has travelled with us here to North Road, even though we’ve only been here a few weeks. You can feel it in the air.”
The new building was partly funded by the Skills Funding Agency and represents another piece in the programme of development for the college in Poole. In the last four years £25 million has gone into transforming the facilities at the Poole and Bournemouth sites.
The building won’t only benefit students, staff and residents of the town but will provide strategic support for the thriving business organisation, Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership.