Doors Open at Bideford College Innovative New Eco School Building
By Hyperlocal | Tuesday, September 07, 2010, 09:38
The innovative new £54 million Bideford College eco school building in North Devon will open its doors to students for the first time this week.
New Bideford College Building
The new site is capable of accommodating up to 2,036 students and has taken two years to complete coming in on time and within budget.
futuristic and innovative environmentally friendly accommodation – which has already won
two national awards for sustainability - has been built on the existing
College principal, Veronica Matthews, said: “This is a very exciting time for the college and for Bideford as a town.
new college will put Bideford at the forefront nationally, not only of
education, but of sustainable and innovative building design.
building is testament to the commitment and teamwork of a large number
of people to provide Bideford with something very special.
building has been designed with function and simplicity of form as key
principles and the result is excellent, an object of beauty that will
inspire young people for many years to come.
“The facilities that we now have are second to none and we can’t wait to see it in action when the students come back.”
Cabinet Member for Schools and Skills, Christine Channon, said: “I have
been hugely impressed with these wonderful new buildings which will
provide the most marvellous learning environment for Bideford’s students
and the wider community.
“We have seen elsewhere in Devon how
academic achievement is improved by modern classrooms and facilities,
coupled with good leadership and teaching, and I expect Bideford College
to go from strength to strength.
“What has also been so
important about this project is the major boost it has given to the
local economy in North Devon with the great majority of the cost of the
contract being invested in the South West and the creation of over 1,400
”And it will be a valuable resource, not only for present
and future students, but for all the communities in the Bideford area.”
All the new teaching spaces are naturally lit and well ventilated in north-facing buildings.
The college boasts a large, six-court sports hall, fitness suite and gymnasium.
The external sports facilities will include a full size, floodlit artificial pitch and netball and tennis courts.
grant from the Bridge Trust has enabled the development of a large main
hall - with stage and screen - capable of seating around 350 people. The College will be making all the facilities available for community use.
The new Bideford College has a woodchip biomass boiler as the main heat source with
small-scale micro wind generation delivering electrical energy to a
hi-tech science demonstration area.
A sustainable drainage
system allows the college to capture and recycle a large percentage of
rainwater into high use areas such as toilets.
All the buildings have ‘living roofs’ which are covered with sedum to slow the run off
of rainwater, produce oxygen and create a natural habitat for wildlife.
Bideford South county councillor Alison Boyle said: “I think Bideford College is going to be nationally renowned.
"It is something that we should all be proud of and will benefit the whole community of Bideford.
new college is innovative in its design, purposefully built to inspire
students and create a positive atmosphere and groundbreaking in its
“It has already built a reputation of national standing."
The new college was designed by the NPS Group (Exeter) and the main
contractors were Barnstaple-based Morgan Sindall.
Managing Director, Steve Daw, said, “NPS is privileged to have been
entrusted with designing this exemplary new college and community
“The high standard of architectural design and
engineering is a testimony to the skills of the whole team and I am sure
both the pupils and local community will benefit from the learning and
sports facilities provided by this landmark scheme.”
Morgan Sindall area director, said: “We’re extremely proud to see this
fantastic new state-of-the-art school open.
of Bideford College has truly been a team effort between ourselves, NPS,
Devon County Council, all of our suppliers and of course the staff and
“The project has significantly boosted the local
economy in Bideford and the surrounding areas. Throughout the scheme we
worked with local subcontractors and used local materials wherever
possible to ensure as much benefit of the landmark project was felt by
the local community.
“We’re looking forward to seeing the
reactions of staff and students as they settle into the new building.
We will now get started on phase two which will involve demolishing the
former buildings and landscaping works.”