Work is well underway on the second phase of redevelopment of Oaklands College’s Smallford campus in St Albans. Supported by a £2.5m Local Growth Fund investment from Hertfordshire LEP, Phase 2 will deliver a brand-new teaching block, called the Evolution Centre, comprising 49 new classrooms, offices for curriculum staff, and facilities to house Pathway 4 special needs provision.
The work forms part of a wider £62m four-phase redevelopment, with Phase 1 successfully concluding in the summer despite Coronavirus restrictions with the construction of the residential Homestead building, capable of housing up to 80 students.
Oaklands College Principal Zoe Hancock said: “We now look ahead to the second phase of the redevelopment, the Evolution Centre, which will occupy a central area of the campus and create an exciting and engaging new learning and teaching environment for our students and staff.
“We are really pleased to have received financial support from Hertfordshire LEP. The Evolution Centre will be a central hub for technical, academic and vocational education. It will transform the learning experience for our students, and we are really looking forward to its completion in Autumn 2021.”
Adrian Hawkins, Chair of Hertfordshire LEP’s Skills & Employment Board, said: “We are delighted to support the ambitious transformation of Oaklands College in St Albans, which will provide our young people with an inspirational environment in which to learn.
“Our investment will enable the college to transition from outdated facilities to the new Evolution Centre teaching block, which will provide the capacity and modern provisions needed to equip the next generation with skills that local employers seek.”
Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government, Luke Hall MP said: “This government is providing a world-class education for every young person in the country.
“That is why we have invested £2.5m, through the Local Growth Fund, in the Evolution Centre at Oaklands College. The centre will deliver technical, academic and vocational education, ensuring every student has the skills they need to succeed.”
Hertfordshire LEP has invested an additional £2.5m from the Local Growth Fund towards Phase 3, due to begin in 2021. This entails the creation of a new sports pavilion adjacent to the college’s sports pitches to house new changing rooms, hydrotherapy and physiotherapy areas, as well as a new construction teaching centre containing industry-standard workshops for construction students.
Learn more about the Oaklands College Smallford campus redevelopment programme.