College looks to future as tower comes d

These pictures show how far work is progressing on the re-development of Suffolk New College.

IPSWICH: These pictures show how far work is progressing on the re-development of Suffolk New College.

Demolition work on the tower block at the Rope Walk site is currently ahead of schedule.

The dated structure is being replaced by a new sports hall and a five-a-side football complex, as part of the college's �70 million re-vamp.

Demolition work on the tower block, which dates from 1959, began in September and is due to finish in the first week of April.

Mary Gleave, associate principal at the college, said: “It's an exciting time - the whole area is going to be transformed in a positive way.

“The tower block had been showing its age recently and didn't have enough modern facilities.

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“The blocks have had to be stripped from the top downwards and cleared of asbestos.

“A Block is currently down to five floors of eight and B Block is down to six of the original eight.”

In its place will be ten five-a-side football pitches and one seven-a-side surface, due to be opened in the autumn.

The pitches will be used by students and members of the public at evenings and weekends.

Ms Gleave added: “The pitches will be run by Goals - a company which runs similar facilities throughout the country.

“This will create new jobs and also offer young people a chance to do something positive and keep fit.

“As a college we aim to be at the heart of the community and this development will help achieve that.”

Work on the sports hall is due to start in April.

The hall will contain four badminton courts and will be used for netball, basketball, indoor football, trampolining, pilates and yoga.

The hall will be shared with community groups who will be able to hire the venue out at certain times.

Were you educated in the college tower blocks? Share your memories - write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail

n The original tower block at Suffolk New College was opened by the Queen in 1959.

n Re-development work on the college began in January 2008 and is expected to cost �70 million.

n The new college encompasses two buildings covering 22,5000 square metres and can cater for 2,500 students.

n The new college includes a state-of-the-art spa and motor vehicle workshop.

n It also includes a restaurant and performance theatre which are both open to the public.