Hartpury’s new state-of-the-art £3.5million College Learning Centre was today officially opened today by Mark Harper MP.
The Member of Parliament for the Forest of Dean and Government Minister for Disabled People unveiled the plaque to mark the official opening of the centre alongside Hartpury Principal Russell Marchant.
The college’s Further Education students are already enjoying their fantastic new facility, which has seen the student learning experience at Hartpury take another major step forward.
The centre is dedicated to retiring Hartpury governor, Martin Baber, in recognition of his outstanding service over 25 years. A plaque to mark this dedication and his achievements was also unveiled at the ceremony. Martin was in attendance for the opening along with many other college governors, staff, students and VIPs, including Dame Janet Trotter – Lord Lieutenant of Gloucestershire.
The new two-storey building, which has a stunning glass frontage and atrium, is exclusively for Hartpury’s college students. It provides a learning resource centre on the ground floor, including an IT room, book, magazine and journal resources and Wi-Fi throughout. The first floor features 15 classrooms and office space for teaching and support staff.
The funding for the new centre is part of the Skills Funding Agency’s £110million investment into FE college buildings and has enabled Hartpury to separate its existing Further Education and Higher Education provision.
Hartpury Principal, Russell Marchant, said: “This new centre demonstrates our commitment to providing an outstanding learning environment for our students. Hartpury will always strive to improve what we do and we already have plans and ideas for future developments.
“With this new building, I think we have found just the right balance. It fits in with its surroundings and maximises the space available to students. The world of learning moves so quickly and predicting what we will need in five years is not an exact science, so we’ve made the space very flexible to ensure it continues to meet the needs of our students going forward.”
Mark Harper, MP for the Forest of Dean and Government Minister for Disabled People, said: “I have seen this building in various states of construction and I was delighted to be invited by Hartpury to perform the official opening of this wonderful College Learning Centre. I know it will be of huge value to students both now and in the future.”
Work began on the new College Learning Centre in June 2013. Markey Construction was the main contractor on the project for Hartpury College, while CAD Associates provided all architectural services.
The construction of this new centre also freed up space in an existing building that had previously been used by both Hartpury’s Further and Higher Education students. That space has now been expanded and upgraded to become a dedicated learning resource centre for degree and postgraduate students.