College firm unveiled

AN IPSWICH firm will build the new Suffolk College, it was announced today. Hadleigh Road-based construction firm Amec will start work on the £60million project in January after current demolition and preparation work on the site has been finished.

AN IPSWICH firm will build the new Suffolk College, it was announced today.

Hadleigh Road-based construction firm Amec will start work on the £60million project in January after current demolition and preparation work on the site has been finished.

Suffolk College deputy principal Marilyn Watsham said: “This is a very exciting time for Suffolk College. We have awarded the contract to Amec and we have already had a number of very positive meetings with them.

“Amec is a very big company but it has very strong local links. A number of their workforce were students with us and they know the college well.”


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Mrs Watsham has worked at the college for 34 years.

She said the new college will form Ipswich's new education quarter, along with University Campus Suffolk (UCS).

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Mrs Watsham added: “This is fantastic news for Suffolk College. We have the chance to build a new further education college which is really really exciting.

“This is an opportunity to build a state-of-the-art building with all of the facilities that go with that which will be huge benefit to college students.”

Demolition work on the north section of the site started three weeks ago. It is hoped the new college will be ready by May 2008 for the first students to use the development later that year.

Lucy Williams, business development manager for Amec, said: “This is a significant contract for us and we are delighted to be involved with the construction of a new Suffolk College.”

Miss Williams said the firm, which has its own apprenticeship scheme, will welcome the college's construction students on site during the building work.

She added: “The business has a long history of success in the public sector including the Stanway School, University of Cambridge, University of Essex, Ministry of Defence and Her Majesty's Prison Service, all of which have demanded an extremely high-level of customer service.

“AMEC has had huge success in the Further Education sector, working with Lowestoft and Epping Forest Colleges and recently key awards with Hertford Regional College as well as this project.”

What do you think of the development of Suffolk College? Did you work on the original college building? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Weblink www.amec.com

www.suffolk.ac.uk

The Eastern Building Division of Amec operates from two offices, Ipswich and Cambridge, employing over 120 staff and with an anticipated turnover of £85m for 2006. The Ipswich office was opened in 1928.

SITE manager Scott Jennings is a former student at Suffolk College.

Scott studied an advance GNVQ in construction and built environment as well as for an HNC qualification.

He said: “It's been seven years since I left and it's exciting to be working at my old college.”

Looking forward to opening the site to students, Scott will be overseeing the project which is due to be finished in May 2008.

He said: “There is no substitute for seeing construction in progress.”

Costing an estimated £60million, the new Suffolk College is using funds from a variety of sources.

Land swap with the East of England Development Agency £13.1million.

Further land sales £1.5million.

Borrowing estimated to be between £5m and £6m.

Learning and Skills Council £40m-subject to approval.

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