Campus opening special for ex-student

SUFFOLK New College's campus unveiling has a special significance for one Kesgrave man.

SUFFOLK New College's campus unveiling has a special significance for one Kesgrave man.

Paul Brown was a 15-year-old apprentice when he first walked through the college gates in Ipswich to study for a qualification in construction.

Almost 50 years later, he is the senior project manager of the team from construction company Morgan Ashcroft preparing to hand over the keys to the new state-of-the-art �70 million campus.

Paul, 64, and the rest of his team have completed the final landscaping, paving and plastering work to the new building before its official opening on August 3.

“The old college will never be forgotten,” said Paul. “I have been involved with construction work on the buildings since 1970, and helped to build the library, workshops and different blocks, so I have seen it evolve.

“Whereas before it was a multi-storey building, now the college is at a lower level, with a big, bright atrium, so the students can mingle together. I think there will be a better sense of community spirit for them now.

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“Even the teachers will have access to big, open areas, so all departments will be able to intermingle.”

The building itself is modern, not just aesthetically, but in terms of the equipment provided too.

A new performance area, hair and beauty studio including a spa, engineering and construction workshops, IT suites including interactive whiteboards, general teaching and training rooms and a food court are all part of the new build.

“This is a very special project for the whole team but particularly those who actually studied at the college,” said Paul.

“During a break from construction, I couldn't resist taking a look at my old classroom. It did bring back some very happy memories.

“We are extremely proud to have been able to provide students with such a great facility.”

What are your memories of the college? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk