The opening of a new £228 million twin-site super college has moved a step closer, with the ‘Topping Out’ of City of Glasgow College’s new ‘Riverside Campus’.
Education Secretary Michael Russell and construction apprentices marked the event by adding the final shovels of concrete to complete the huge structural frame.
Opening in August next year on the banks of the Clyde, the campus will feature futuristic classrooms, sunken gardens and state of the art engineering workshops for renewable energy, maritime and mechanical students.
Other unique features include a working ships engine room, free fall lifeboats and a ship simulator which will put students at the helm of a range of ships including a huge Super Tanker.
City of Glasgow College Principal Paul Little said: “After the Games we were left with fantastic images of Glasgow and the Clyde and our new world-class waterfront campus will be another incredible icon for the city.
“This will be a college like never seen before, a 21st century powerhouse for skills development bringing employers, students and teachers together. It will equip young people for the jobs of the future and will put college education on the map. Thousands of students and staff are really excited and eager to start enjoying their new state-of-the-art campus when it opens next year.”
Its big sister, ‘City Campus’ – set to open in August 2016 – is being built on Glasgow’s Cathedral Street and will bring new parkland to the city centre as well as a row of city centre shops run by students.
The completed super campus will be the size of 11 football pitches and be home to around 40,000 students a year. Construction is supporting over 800 jobs including creating 170 new jobs and 40 new apprenticeships, whilst providing vital contracts for local businesses.
Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning Michael Russell said: “City of Glasgow’s twin campuses will add a new dynamic to the city. Thousands of students will benefit from these state-of-the-art new facilities when they are completed and I am delighted to join the construction apprentices already gaining from the experience of working on the building.
“This incredible new campus will reflect the close links that the college has built with employers across many industries. Students studying here will have the opportunity to learn and train on the most up-to-date equipment needed to build careers in engineering, the energy sector, construction and many other businesses.”
Apprentice Technician Craig MacHaffie, 18 years old from Anderston in Glasgow said: “I’ve been involved in so many different aspects such as setting out, concrete piling and slip forming; I had never seen slip forming before and it was really impressive!
“I’ve learned so much during my time here as it’s such a big construction project and hopefully it’ll help me to become a fully qualified engineer. It’s also good to have a job that’s local and it’s so interesting seeing a job through from start to finish.”
Peter Reekie, deputy chief executive at Scottish Futures Trust, stated: “This is a fantastic milestone, just over a year in to an ambitions build programme. The Scottish Futures Trust’s Non Profit Distributing (NPD) financing has brought this investment in to Glasgow, benefitting both its construction workers and young people, much sooner than would have been the case had the project had to wait for traditional capital budgets to be available.”