DIGNITARIES, lecturers and students gathered to watch the unveiling of a new part of a college.
Fareham College is undergoing a £16m refurbishment and yesterday saw the opening of A Building – the first new teaching space to be completed as part of a major redesign.
Fareham MP Mark Hoban unveiled a plaque to mark the occasion at the campus in Bishopsfield Road, Fareham, and also joined people in signing a wall.
He said: ‘We are seeing the renaissance of the Bishopsfield Road campus and that is very important to the local community.’
The project is being completed by Bouygues UK.
Darren Gill, regional director, said: ‘We have used local contractors on this project with 10 apprentices.
‘People have worked late nights and at weekends to achieve this and what has been achieved so far is fantastic.’
As well as the formal opening of A Building, yesterday saw the topping out ceremony, marking the end of structural work, for the main building, which is due to open in September 2015.
Once finished there will be workshops, art studios, plus more, and public access to a new park.
Deputy principal Peter Marsh said: ‘Today has been a fantastic celebration of the completion of the first phase of development for the new Fareham College.
‘We have taken occupation of 3,000sq m of fabulous new learning spaces six weeks ahead of schedule.
‘By refurbishing late 1960s building, rather than knocking them down and starting again, we have spent half as much money and completed the works in a third of the times.
‘It’s been a sustainable way of creating great teaching space that matches the high standard we already have here.’
The project follows the opening of Cemast – the centre for excellence in engineering, manufacturing and advanced skills training – in September 2014 at Daedalus, in Lee-on-the-Solent.
The college is holding an open evening on Tuesday, February 3 from 5pm until 7pm, when visitors can find out more about the courses on offer and see the developing campus.