South Devon University Technical College
Empowering the workers of tomorrow
Given the traditional nature of other education establishments in Newton Abbot, some local employers have reported that they struggle to find recruits with the skills they require. With a specific focus on engineering, water and the environment, the UTC is designed to deliver an ‘employer driven’ education system and ultimately provide a much needed confident, motivated and skilled workforce for the region.
The new building comprises of:
- science labs
- learning hubs
These new teaching facilities provide early employer contact and a stimulating, practical education to meet the challenge of local unemployment and multi-generational ‘worklessness’. With a significant proportion of the timetable spent on work-based projects, the school aim to develop a world class education facility and raise the standards of achievement. This, in turn, will help to reduce the effects of social and economic disadvantage across the town and enhance the area’s overall educational offer in support of social and economic progress.
An outward signal of change was fundamental to the design development. The building is wrapped in a patinated copper-coloured metal clad element, making reference to the scientific and environment studies taking place with-in, with splashes of colour highlighting the entrance and key features.
Where possible, elements of the building translate as learning tools connected to the schools specialism subjects. For example, a standard WC cistern and high velocity water saving WC are installed with clear backing panels so students can see and understand their internal workings.
Open plan “hub” spaces are located around a central atrium to provide a focal circulatory and navigation point at the heart of the building.
The school was handed over on time at the end of 2015 with students commencing studies on site in January 2016. Feedback so far has been great and the new building has become a key part of student recruitment.