Beard begins work on STEM centre

Beard begins work on STEM centre

Beard has started construction work on the state-of-the-art STEM centre for Richmond upon Thames College. The Guildford office of award-winning contractor Beard has begun work on a state-of-the-art STEM centre (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) at Richmond upon Thames College.

Awarded through the Procure Partnerships Framework, the £10 million project will see the construction of the new three-storey building, combining specialist classrooms and training spaces for science, engineering and construction, forensic sciences, computing and robotics. It will also consist of cutting-edge workshops, laboratories and even a laboratory for crime scene science.

Each floor of the steel-frame building will be 1,300 square metres and will be fitted with an external cladding system to complement the existing college campus. To support biodiversity, the STEM centre will feature a wildflower roof and photovoltaic solar panels.

Beard, along with architect 3BM and structural engineers HDR, have started work at the college’s brownfield site, following demolition of the existing building. Despite work taking place during term time, the active site is independent from the rest of the campus. Nonetheless, Beard has worked closely with the college to minimise disruption and ensure safety, implementing designated walkways and hoardings, as well as utilising traffic marshals and multiple entrances.

The project, which is set to complete in the summer of 2024, is part of a wider whole site redevelopment of the college. The STEM centre marks phase two of works and follows the merger of Harrow, Richmond upon Thames and Uxbridge colleges (HRUC).

Tom Jenkinson, director for Guildford, said: “Beard is well known within the education sector for building outstanding spaces for teaching and learning. We are delighted to be chosen by the college to deliver this modern addition to its campus. We have been working closely with the college and all our partners to ensure that the centre truly is state-of-the-art and provides the necessary spaces to meet the bespoke needs of each subject and specialist discipline.

“With work now underway, we look forward to showcasing our expertise in the sector and delivering a sophisticated facility that will support today’s STEM learners and future cohorts.”

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