College's £1.2m lockdown improvements - but home learning is here to stay

Building improvements costing more than £1 million have been carried out at Telford College during lockdown as remote learning becomes a key part of operations.

Telford College
Telford College

Contractors used the quiet periods during coronavirus home learning to upgrade and refurbish many parts of the campus, in Haybridge Road, investing more than £1.2m a the site in the 2019-20 academic year.

The sum includes £880,831 in Government funding which has been spent on improving flooring, boilers, heating, CCTV, drainage, roofing, fencing, doors, and air conditioning – with contracts awarded to more than a dozen companies in the area.

Deputy principal Janet Stephens said the money arrived at a ‘very opportune time’ allowing the college to make upgrades to its already expanding IT infrastructure to support home-based learning, as well as carrying work on campus facilities.

Among the suppliers was Oswestry based Idris Flooring Limited which replaced flooring in the college’s Haybridge restaurant as well as the construction centre, health and social care rooms, the foyers and corridors.

Idris' spokesman Ian Brown said: “We were delighted to have the opportunity to carry out works for the college over the lockdown period, and that it chose to continue working with us, a local company, to further cement our excellent and co-operative working relationship.”

The higher education centre said it was now reflecting on the lessons learned in the past year following three lockdowns, disruptions and restrictions.

It has introduced a new blended timetable to maximise flexibility and minimise risk of spreading the virus, meaning that the majority of students are now combining lessons on campus with home studies instead of traditional on site attendance.

Telford College principal and chief executive Graham Guest said: “I am proud and humbled by the immense efforts of our staff during these unprecedented times.

“The statistics speak for themselves and show the sheer scale of the support they have given, and the difference it has made, to ensure students are able to achieve and continue with their studies with minimal disruption.

“Prior to the start of March our testing system allowed hundreds of students to attend campus for their practical sessions and exams.

“And since March 8, when restrictions were eased, not a single class bubble has had to be shut down due to a Covid diagnosis. That’s in no small part due to the stringent and well organised safety procedures we have put in place.”

The college has remained open throughout the pandemic and has run many vocational exams under strict Covid-safe conditions.

A testing centre was created in the Haybridge campus sports hall conducting nearly 4,000 tests and more than 2,500 home Covid test kits have been distributed to staff and students.

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.

Top Stories

More from the Shropshire Star

UK & International News