Construction specialist Stepnell has begun work on a £1.6 million scheme to extend and refurbish the carpentry and joinery teaching block at Leicester College creating an advanced learning facility for students.
The scheme, designed by Leicester-based Moss Architecture . Interiors Ltd, will significantly transform the existing joinery workshop at the Freemen’s Park campus in Aylestone Road, creating a 900 sq m modern and flexible, open-plan zoned joinery and bench joinery teaching space. The project is going ahead with the help of funding from the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership.
Stepnell’s Nottingham construction team will make significant internal alterations to open up the space, creating a power tool pod in the centre of the room and 19 working spaces for students on one side. A new silicon glazed curtain walling extension will be installed to provide an extended wood machine room and computer aided design area. New windows and curtain walling will be installed within the existing façade to maximise natural lighting within the existing building and enhance the learning environment.
The team will also replace existing dated metal cladding with seared torch timber cladding; reinforce the building’s existing steel frame and install new lighting and heating systems providing improved ventilation and energy efficiency.
Paul Hirscher, director of Construction at Leicester College, says: “The update to the carpentry and joinery teaching block will provide a practical work space that will enhance the learning experience. We are excited that we can work together with Stepnell again to be able to help the next generation of construction workers.”
“We’re extremely pleased to be continuing our strong working partnership with Leicester College, one of the UK’s largest further education colleges, to deliver these impressive teaching facilities for carpentry and joinery students,” adds Stepnell operations and commercial manager Thomas Sewell. “As a company dedicated to helping develop the construction professionals of the future develop their skills, it is particularly pleasing to be working on this project which will create an advanced learning environment where students can benefit from the latest technology.”
As part of its ongoing partnership with the College to help students gain real-life industry experience, Stepnell will provide a number of work placements enabling construction students at the College to broaden their skills on the joinery teaching block scheme, under the supervision of the Stepnell team. Stepnell recently supported the College’s Employability Week event, organising visits by Leicester College students to a construction site and giving presentations on construction careers.
The joinery teaching block scheme has been awarded to Stepnell following the company’s successful completion last year of a brand-new £1.7 million motor vehicle workshop at the College’s Abbey Park campus.