The redevelopment of New College Nottingham’s Basford Hall site has transformed the campus into a modern, energy efficient, flexible teaching environment for 2,000 students as well as creating the Nottingham Sustainability and Enterprise Centre to support new businesses.
The scheme won two awards at the East Midland’s Property Awards – Construction Project of the Year and Skills and Apprenticeship Scheme of the Year.
Before we were appointed main contractor, design started on a new campus on adjacent parkland to the existing Basford Hall, with the college negotiating a land swap with Nottingham City Council. Unfortunately, this plan was abandoned due to a previously unknown covenant over the land. Funding requirements left the team with less than six months to design a new building from a blank sheet of paper, on an unknown site and reach a fixed price with a main contractor.
We were appointed and through a collaborative and intensive design process, procuring separate enabling works and running an OJEU procurement process in parallel, the team met these requirements. The Project still remained over budget at this point, however through an intensive value engineering exercise, the main college building was re-designed from a reinforced concrete frame to a steel frame building in bringing the project back within budget, starting work on site in April 2014.
Construction of the new main college was took place on a previous car park and the new enterprise centre on an adjacent plot. Throughout the construction, the existing college remained a live site. On completion of the new college building, the existing building was decanted, demolished and new car parking formed in its place.
Only sixteen months after the start on site, the new college opened to students on time and within budget.
The project has created a landmark education building in Nottingham, transformed the culture of the college and increased the learning opportunities it provides to students.
The project was completed on time and under budget, with teaching starting in September 2015 . The new building has transformed the student learning experience with modern, flexible teaching facilities and the open plan office environment has reinvigorated the college’s students and staff.
Redeveloping the campus also acted a catalyst for further investment into a generally deprived area of the city, with already further talk of additional funding for further teaching facilities to complement the existing offer.
Our award-winning skills and apprenticeship scheme:
During construction, the Basford Hall site was surrounded by some of Nottingham’s most deprived areas: 44% of 16-64-year-olds were not in employment and only 62% were economically active. Working closely with Nottingham Job Hub and our sub-contractors, we put a work experience and apprenticeship scheme in place, with some tough targets.
Through the Hub’s Sector Based Work Academy we achieved 758 actual person weeks for apprentices who were new to construction, 80 actual person weeks for work experience for over 19s and delivered 1,354 actual person weeks in new vacancies purely created by the construction project.
Not only did the scheme facilitate almost 2,200 weeks of work/experience/learning for a large group of young people it has also been the catalyst for some securing long-term work and permanent positions. At the end of the project, more than 200 operatives/tradespeople were still in their post and looking forward to a brighter future thanks to the scheme.
The opportunity to engage with a major main contractor and receive the kind of on the job training and experience afforded by the Basford Hall site, was an opportunity not to be missed.
The scheme also helped NCN introduce its construction students to a live site. They were able to learn about their subject in the classroom and then put that into practice on the project – helping to build their own new facilities.
As main contractor on the scheme it enabled us to engage with our sub-contractors at a far deeper level as we needed their buy-in and support to enable us to offer the work placements and apprenticeships on the site.