COMPLETION OF DIGITAL CENTRE GIVES TEES VALLEY A HEAD START IN TECH SECTOR
Located on its growing Middlehaven campus, the recently completed Digital Centre at Middlesbrough College, is the latest in a growing list of further education projects to be successfully delivered by Surgo Construction.
Taking up its position on campus alongside the existing Sixth Form Centre and STEM Centre, both of which are former Surgo Construction projects, The Digital Centre has reached completion at a time when the learner population using the Middlehaven campus facilities has grown by approximately 33 per cent since the college located there in 2008.
Developed on land adjacent to the Sixth Form Centre, the design for the £3.2m T-Level Centre was driven by the specific objectives and educational needs of Middlesbrough College.
Designed over three levels, it provides exciting, high-quality accommodation to support the college’s digital curriculum with a design of sufficient flexibility that it can be adapted to the college’s future needs.
Sitting harmoniously amongst other campus buildings, it has a gross internal floor area of circa 1534.05m2 and contains
- A TV and film room and two editing suites at ground floor level (523.35m2)
- Games design network and cyber programming via five classrooms plus a staff room on the first floor – 469.72m2
- Generic IT and theory zone- on the second floor, which measures 541m2 and features seven classrooms
The building layout primarily has rooms located off a two-sided central ‘spine’ corridor, the double height Hub enhancing the space by providing visibility to the social hub at the entrance to the building, which provides a touch down for students and staff while creating a striking front façade.
The use of natural daylighting creates an efficient, user friendly and inspiring internal environment, while the building is naturally ventilated with mechanical ventilation being used as and where required. Air source heat pumps provide highly efficient heating and cooling, and the roof has been gravelled assisting with water soakaway.
Externally, the simple, contemporary façade is in keeping with the existing campus style.
Appointed after successfully tendering for the project, Surgo Construction’s impressive experience gained over many years within the education sector, together with its established local supply chain, ability to work with the utmost health and safety provision on live sites, coupled with the successful completion of the adjacent STEM Centre extension less than a year earlier, combined to identify the contractor as the ideal choice for The Digital Centre.
Part of a £3.2m DfE funded campus wide T-level initiative, the funding also included a new construction workshop and expanded catering facilities for A-level students.
Now complete – the building has been in use since February 2022 – students can get to work on specialist computing equipment and benefit from the chance to use industry-leading programming suites, cyber labs, special effects rooms, games design suites and video editing suites as well as a dedicated film and TV studio.
Speaking about the success of the project, Surgo’s pre-construction director, Martin Blight, said:
“We were delighted that Middlesbrough College placed its trust in us for a second time in as many years to build this latest addition to its estate as it seeks to continually improve facilities and provide its students with the optimum learning experience.
“Our background in the delivery of high-quality education facilities was a great advantage and it is gratifying that the completed building has been well received by the management team, governors and end users.
“Middlesbrough College is expanding its offering at a time when this part of the world is attracting major inward investment and this campus will play an increasingly significant role in supporting Tees Valley’s Strategic Economic Plan. It is great to have played a part in that and we would very much welcome any further opportunity to support the college at a future date as it continues to make improvements to its estate.”
Praising the contractor, Zoe Lewis, principal, and chief executive of Middlesbrough College, said:
“By delivering T-levels from our campus, we can now help young people from across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool gain the skills they need – along with practical experience – to take advantage of opportunities being created in Tees Valley and secure high value jobs.
“This super new building, which provides a fantastic and inspirational learning environment for our students means we can look ahead with confidence, reinforcing our position at the forefront of digital skills development and delivering innovative T-Level courses that will transform the regional economy.
“We thank Surgo Construction and the entire professional team for their outstanding work on The Digital Centre, which will play a vital role in Tees Valley’s future. It has been a pleasure working on this project with them.”