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Socially distanced Topping Out for new Brunel Centre at South Gloucestershire and Stroud College

16 July 2020 – The final timber was fixed into place at South Gloucestershire and Stroud College (SGS), Wise campus to celebrate hitting the significant milestone

Maintaining a safe distance was the order of the day at SGS Wise campus, as guests celebrated reaching a key milestone in the construction of the new Brunel Building on the campus in Stoke Gifford, Bristol.

Following the hygiene rules and one-way systems which were implemented as part the Construction Leadership Council’s Site Operating Procedures in response to COVID-19; guests from the college along with the Willmott Dixon team, consultants and supply chain were able to witness the final screw being fixed into the cross laminated timber structure.

Designed with sustainability and wellbeing at its heart, along with the timber frame, the new building will include an array of photovoltaic panels along the southern elevation. When complete the Centre will be home to a variety of Science, Technology, Maths and Engineering courses. With high ceilings and exposed timber interior walls, the whole building has been designed to improve the health and wellbeing of those in the learning environment.

Kevin Hamblin - CEO of the SGS Academy Trust Kevin Hamblin, CEO of the SGS Academy Trust said:

‘I am delighted to witness this important milestone in the creation of a new centre for high tech skills at SGS College. The £7m building is being funded by the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) to provide increased capacity in the area for the next generation of scientists, technicians, engineers and creatives. Credit must be given to WECA who had the foresight and confidence to make this investment as it will provide a world class environment for another 400 students a year to study at SGS.

We know that Technology, Engineering and the Creative Sectors will be at the forefront of the Country’s economic future and with a facility such as this, SGS College can encourage, educate and make work-ready young people who will study, live and work in the area in many of the local high-value industries.’

Throughout the pandemic, the site has remained open and operating in line with Public Health England guidelines and in compliance with the Site Operating Procedures issued by the Construction Leadership Council.

Richard David, director of Willmott Dixon Wales and West said:

‘The whole team has worked hard to get the project to this point in challenging circumstances. Safety has remained our top priority throughout and together with the college, consultants, and our supply chain we have kept our people safe while continuing to build this important new learning centre.

It is great to be working with a customer with values that are aligned to Willmott Dixon’s. By putting sustainability and wellbeing as a central part of the design and construction, the new Brunel Centre will be a fantastic learning space for the pupils and staff of the college. We hope that this new centre will encourage more people to take STEM subjects and inspire the next generation into careers like construction.’

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