Oaklands unveils brand new residential Homestead

This week, Oaklands College Principal Zoe Hancock attended the unveiling of the brand new, state-of-the-art residential Homestead, at the colleges St Albans Campus.


This week, Oaklands College Principal Zoe Hancock attended the unveiling of the brand new, state-of-the-art residential Homestead, at the college’s St Albans Sampus.

The new student residential accommodation, which is the first of a four-phase redevelopment of the St Albans Campus, introduces a brand-new facility capable of housing over 80 residential students.

The Homestead boasts two large communal areas, two shared kitchens and underfloor heating throughout. Access to the building is via a safe and secure swipe-card entry system. In addition to this, there will be a dedicated recreational area with a basketball court at the rear of the building.

A key feature of the new facility is the ‘oak lantern’, which provides a breathtaking structural support for the front entrance of the homestead, the lantern was a key design feature created by DLA Design Architect Damien Norris, in keeping with the traditions of the college.

Joining Zoe on site were key members of the project representing Willmott Dixon and Fusion Project Management, as well as Oaklands College Facilities Manager John Hatchett.

Fittingly, Zoe was joined by former Oaklands College student Euan Beaddie, who helped assist with the building management throughout the lockdown period, to cut the ribbon and officially open the facilities.

Euan said: “It’s a privilege to be part of the Willmott Dixon team that is working on transforming my former college. From studying at Oaklands, I was able to gain industry standard qualifications relevant for my career progression.”

Euan studied both a Level 3 Diploma and Higher National Certificate in Construction Management at Oaklands College and graduated from his BSc (Hons) in Construction Management this year.

The event also marked the groundbreaking and start of Phase 2 of the redevelopment, which focuses on providing a brand new general teaching block, containing 49 new classrooms, offices for curriculum staff and house the Pathway 4 special needs provision.

Zoe said: “It was incredibly rewarding to see the finished Homestead building which will provide fabulous facilities for our residential academy students.

We now look ahead to the second phase of the redevelopment, the Evolution Centre, which will occupy a central area of the campus and create an exciting and engaging new learning and teaching environment for our students and staff.”

Simon Ramage, director at Willmott Dixon said, “We are pleased to have handed over the residential homestead building to Oaklands College ready for the students to return to in September. As a former student of Oaklands College I’m delighted to be part of the journey, and we are now focused on the start of the build for the brand new teaching block.”

To read more about the full, four-phase redevelopment of Oaklands College, click here.

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