PICTURES: Behind-the-scenes look as new Hilsea technical college nears completion

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WITH just three months until its doors open, the principal of a new city college said his expectations about the project have exceeded everything hoped for.

The University Technical College (UTC) in Hilsea is a state-funded college and will specialise in electrical and mechanical engineering, and advanced manufacturing.

Building work started in August and is now almost complete, with the college’s classrooms, workshops, other facilities taking shape.

Principal Ciaran O’Dowda said: ‘Last time The News visited us in March, the exterior was just being finished.

‘Now, the rooms have been created and the building is at a fairly advanced stage.

‘There’s plaster on the walls, walls that have been painted, and carpets and flooring going in.

‘In a few weeks we’ll be installing fitted furniture.’

He added: ‘We have some fairly unique rooms in the college, like engineering workshops which are triple the size of a conventional room.

‘They house milling machines and the like.

‘We’ve also got advanced manufacturing rooms, which have things like 3D printers in, and of course big open atriums and independent learning suites that you don’t get at other places.’

The project is being supported by some of the largest employers in the city such as BAE Systems, Airbus, the Royal Navy and more, all of which will work with students.

Admissions for Year 10 are now closed and will re-open in September for next year’s intake.

Eventually the college will have 600 pupils.

UTC will have six workshops, eight labs (three for ICT), 12 classrooms, two learning resource centres, one lecture theatre and hall.

Mr O’Dowda added: ‘We’ll be shouting loud and proud about our industry giant employer links.

‘We’re providing what they’ve been asking for years.

‘The project has surpassed my expectations and I’m delighted with the ambition and drive in the applicants I’ve met.

‘I’m delighted to be opening the doors in September.’