Yorkshire news New Halifax sixth form college built out of former library MetiNews.Com
MetiNews.Com - The £9.5m project will mean students no longer have to travel out of the area to sixth form colleges
Breaking News ! A £9.5 million project has seen a former council library building converted into a state-of-the art sixth form centre after 18 months' work. Fourteen months on from conversion work starting on the former Central Library building at Northgate, Halifax, with planning and design work undertaken before that, it will bring a dedicated centre for 16 to 18-year-olds in Calderdale, which over the years has seen post-GCSE pupils continue their education out of the area to sixth form colleges at Huddersfield, Rochdale and Burnley. Calderdale Council with partners Trinity Multi-Academy Trust, Rastrick High School, LDN Architects, blacc - the council's Halifax-based construction contractor, based in Halifax - and a range of small, local contractors have worked to change all that and present the borough with its own alternative. The result is a remarkable transition, not just re-purposing but re-designing the existing building for its new role. The sixth form centre, which will be handed over to Trinity Multi-Academy Trust to run in a few weeks when it will become Trinity Sixth Form Academy, is ready to receive its first students in September. Around 200 of them have already begun their post-16 education at Trinity and the building can accommodate more than 600 students in total. Trinity Sixth Form Academy, Halifax, picture supplied by Calderdale Council. They will arrive at a building which does not feel like an old one given a facelift - it wholly achieves the look and feel of a new build. With an atrium driving through the heart of the building from top to bottom it makes maximum use of space and natural light with windows of solar-control glass, uses acoustic panels to mute any hubbub and utilises a natural ventilation system. The stonework has been restored and 100 per cent recyclable zinc cladding fits into the eco-friendly brief. The detail, and partners have had input into the new design from the start, goes right down to corridor points where students can fill their water bottles.
A similarly large study area, a cafe which can seat 50 and house 100, classrooms, some of which are larger spaces which can easily be partitioned to make smaller ones, IT suites and science labs mean the new centre has the look and feel of a college or university rather than a narrow-corridored school. The council's Halifax Town Centre Regeneration Programme Manager Janet Whitrow says this is deliberate to smooth the transition from GCSE level to further education. Calderdale hopes that by providing modern, attractive premises at the heart of the town centre and all that has to offer, with easy transport links, two minutes from Halifax Bus Station and no more than ten from the rail station, it will prove an attractive place for young students to learn without having to leave the borough. In turn, they will benefit the economy as they use local shops and businesses, increasing footfall and boosting employment, believes the council.
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And Coun Adam Wilkinson (Lab, Sowerby Bridge), Cabinet member for Children and Young People's Services who toured the building with Leader of Calderdale Council, Coun Tim Swift (Lab, Town), and Deputy Leader Coun Jane Scullion (Lab, Luddenden Foot), said the council was proud Calderdale now has its own sixth form centre. "We couldn't be more impressed with the top-quality design and construction work. "It was really important to us to base this facility in the heart of the town centre, rather than at an out-of-town campus, to benefit students, teachers and local businesses. "Trinity Sixth Form Academy will be an exceptional place for young people to learn. "By improving the education and skills offer in Calderdale, we can give young people more career opportunities and encourage investment and growth," he said. Michael Gosling, CEO of Trinity Multi-Academy Trust, said: "Seeing the Trinity Sixth Form Academy come to completion is a testament to our commitment in ensuring our students fulfil their potential and this new state-of-the-art building creates an impressive foundation to make that happen."
Source = MetiNews.Com