Novus Property Solutions has transformed a former primary school building as part of a fast-track refurbishment to create a new, state-of-the-art apprentice training centre in Staffordshire.
The first of a new type of school to be launched in the UK in 2010, The JCB Academy, aims to develop the engineers and business leaders of the future. Its innovative approach includes a highly focused curriculum and a timetable more akin to business hours. Catering for students aged between 14 and 18, the academy prides itself on providing the next generation with all the tools needed to succeed.
The academy’s dedicated apprenticeship programme for students aged 16 and over, offers courses in welding and fabrication, engineering and business operations and benefits from strong links with industry leading employers including Michelin. The creation of the new Dove Engineering Centre as part of the £1.2 million investment funded by the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, has further enhanced the academy’s exceptional facilities.
During the fast-track 16-week project, which involved the careful co-ordination of specialist fit-out alongside traditional trades, the team completely transformed the former Dove First School building. Novus refurbished the existing single-storey school building and constructed a new extension to the front elevation to create the new state-of-the-art Dove Engineering Centre.
The extension, which was constructed using traditional red brick and features a pitched roof, was carefully designed to complement the existing red brick school building, which dates back to 1830. The new extension creates a welcoming new entranceway and provides plenty of space for apprentices to relax and socialise. Students at the academy have a longer day than typical colleges and as they are expected to stay on campus for much of this time, providing facilities for downtime and private study was a key part of the centre’s design.
In addition to the extension, the entire interior of the building was remodelled to create a new internal layout, to meet the requirements of a modern learning environment. The centre features several new classrooms as well as workshops for practical lessons and cutting edge technology to enable students to undertake projects using computer aided design and mechatronics.
Novus also undertook a complete mechanical and electrical refurbishment of the old school building to make it more energy efficient with new LED lighting installed as well as new plasterboard and plaster applied to improve the thermal efficiency of the building. The team also installed new washrooms for staff and students at the centre.
Director of Apprenticeship Programmes at The JCB Academy, Jim Bailey, said: “The JCB Academy is delighted to be in a position to take the apprentice programme to the next level with the development of this fantastic facility. The opening of the training centre will add to the outstanding facilities that we have already at The JCB Academy.”
Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership chairman David Frost CBE said: “We are delighted to support this impressive new centre, which will provide our young people with excellent training in the advanced manufacturing and engineering skills that will be crucial for both their future and the future of our local economy.
“Encouraging our young people to develop higher level skills and creating more and better jobs are both key to creating a flourishing economy and thriving communities and ensuring that our region is a great place to live, work and do business.”
Alan Nixon, director at Novus Property Solutions commented: “We were delighted to be able to support a major local employer by improving its facilities. We understand the importance of equipping the next generation of apprentices with the skills needed to succeed, as apprenticeships have always formed an integral part of our business and facilities like the new Dove Engineering Centre are a vital part of the process.”
For more information about Novus Property Solutions please visit www.novussolutions.co.uk