The former factory has been transformed by developer Kier during the last 12 months, in readiness to open as a University Technical College (UTC) in September that will offer a combination of hands-on engineering skills and academic learning focused on Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.
This blend of underpinning knowledge and practical learning, which will see students study GCSEs/A levels while developing practical engineering skills through BTEC Diplomas in Engineering, is reflected in the school’s internal layout.
Half of the 5,400m² building is given over to a two-storey area made up of classrooms and specialist teaching labs. This area also includes computer suites, independent study spaces, a dining area and an Employers’ Lounge where students will meet with businesses and learn more about the opportunities in the energy and advanced engineering sectors, which are the UTC’s specialisms.
The remaining half of the building will be devoted to technical learning, with students developing their skills in disciplines such as electrical and electronic engineering, materials and engineering science. Here they will also take part in Technical Challenges, designed with the UTC’s employer partners (led by Lotus Cars, Future Marine Services, Gardline and ST Racing), to give students experience of the sorts of engineering problems they can expect to face in the world of work.
Another notable feature of the building is its distinctive 57-feet high tower, which will be used by UTC students as a ‘vertical classroom’ for testing aerodynamics.
Students at the UTC Norfolk will benefit from an investment of £1.3m in specialist engineering and scientiﬁc equipment that will provide them with unique learning opportunities.
UTC Norfolk has now accepted more than 200 students, who will begin their exciting learning journey in September 2014, with two cohorts of students, in Years 10 and 12, starting in the first year.
Alex Hayes, Principal, University Technical College Norfolk, commented:
“This is a really exciting time for everyone associated with UTC Norfolk, with more than 200 students now accepted and our new school building really taking shape. This is a unique building for a school, which lends itself perfectly to the blend of technical engineering skills and a curriculum focussed on science, technology, engineering maths that we will be offering. We can’t wait to complete equipping our classrooms and workshops inside the building and to opening our doors to our first cohort of students in September.”
Dennis Cotton, Director, Kier Construction, said:
“We are proud to be associated with the UTC Norfolk project, which continues our successful track record in the education sector. Our team have actively engaged in the promotion of the UTC to new students with tours and various open evenings throughout the construction programme, and we are very excited to have reached this significant milestone in the build.”