Planning approved for new college complex

Horticulture students at the Berkshire College of Agriculture (BCA) are to be able to take advantage of sustainably designed classrooms and laboratories due to be built by September 2009.

The £9.3m modernisation of BCA’s educational buildings has been approved at the planning stage and the contract can now be put out to tender. BCA received planning permission three weeks ago to progress to Stage Two and replace three outdated buildings with modern facilities. Construction will start in the summer of 2008 on a horticultural teaching centre, science laboratory building and a vocational skills workshop. BCA head of marketing and customer services Sarah Irving said: “The planned buildings have the same footprint as the originals but they will be two storeys high and therefore a better use of space. As well as the new buildings the area outside will be relandscaped.” Funding for the site came from the Learning & Skills Council, together with grants and profits from land sold by the college. CUTS Special features planned for the horticultural building include green roofs and walls and concertina doors which will allow students to access garden areas directly from the classroom. The new classrooms and laboratories will be a lot nicer than the old ones, which were 40 years old.” As well as the new buildings the area outside will be relandscaped. This has not been done for a number of years.” Irving said all attempts would be made to minimise disruption for students but temporary classroom accommodation would have to be used during construction.

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