South Staffordshire College’s new specialist educational centre

In Brief

Client: South Staffordshire College

Location: Futures@SCC, South Staffordshire College, Rodbaston Campus

Project Value: £1,005,000

Completion Date: February 2015

The Futures building is a new state of art specialised college building for students with complex educational needs and disabilities based on the Rodbaston Campus for South Staffordshire College.

The newly designed educational facility is located at the heart of the colleges 180 hectare site bringing together a range of practices under a single roof to provide a fantastic new learning environment for students.

The aim of the design brief was to bring together the ethos of the college’s approach to learning through experiences, within an innovative learning environment helping to foster interaction and bring together a range disciplines under one roof.

The college required a new learning space to accommodate:

  • Dance and Drama studio,
  • Independent Domestic Skill Facilities,
  • Complex Needs Suits,
  • Common Room,
  • IT and Administrative facilities.

The new learning space aims to create a stimulating and inspiring new environment for students that’s flexible, allowing teaching staff to deliver personalised study programmes tailored around student’s individual learning needs.

In Context

Rodbaston College is one of four campuses that make up South Staffordshire College. As the college continues grow and develop throughout the county of Staffordshire, the range of learning facilities required to fully support a diverse representation of all students required expansion.

The college aims to provide students with a wide range of facilities, offering an inspiring and practical unique ‘hands on’ approach to learning, with the ‘working experience’ being invaluable part of their learning process.

Rodbaston facilitates a ‘real life working experience’ by incorporating a range of fully operational businesses for students to work within, including:

  • Zoo (with over a 1000 animals),
  • Equestrian centre,
  • Art gallery
  • Motor vehicle workshop
  • Stylish hair and beauty salon
  • High quality restaurants
  • Gym
  • Day nursery for children.

To support students with complex educational needs and disabilities at the College, a joint venture between South Staffordshire College and the Linkage Community Trust have united to provide a the Futures@SCC educational centre for students at the Rodbaston Campus.

Our Approach

To ensure that Rodbaston had the infrastructure and facility to support their students with specialist educational needs, we worked closely with the college and the contractor to deliver a cost effective design solution to provide the teaching spaces required and create an engaging learning environment.

Teaching staff and students required appropriate classroom space to support their academic or vocational subjects, whilst creating additional accommodation to provide comfortable environments, where staff could deliver the specialist support programs that focus on speech therapy; social, domestic and inter-personal skills and also work experience.

Extra specialist facilities to enhance students skills and experiences include:

Independent Domestic Skill Facilities

This is a special teaching suite designed to assist students in developing domestic and independent living skills. Facilities include domestic-style kitchen, domestic bathroom and lounge and bedroom areas to help build and practice skills needed for independence.

Complex Needs Suite

Sensory suite designed for the care and education of those students with severe physical and mental difficulties and highly challenging behaviour. The suite uses projectors and other AV equipment to provide an immersive, calming environment to assist with providing specific educational or therapeutic requirements of the students.

As the project evolved onsite the original plans for the learning space needed to be developed within a time sensitive situation. To ensure an efficient and effective solution our design team worked in close collaboration with the college and the construction team to progress the build of the educational centre, delivering the most effective, safest and suitable design solution for the project to advance safely and successfully.

The newly developed specialist educational centres locality within the centre of the Rodbaston campus enables staff and students quick access to the whole site, allowing them to fully engage and interact within their new specialised environment, whilst being at the heart of the wider college community.

Client Testimonial:

“Croft Architecture provided architectural services to South Staffordshire College as part of the construction phase. All plans were submitted in line with the programme, and liaison was completed with the planners to get sign off to all planning conditions. Staff are professional and helpful, supportive and responsive to minor changes to plans.”

  • South Staffordshire College Croft Architecture
  • South Staffordshire College Croft Architecture
  • South Staffordshire College Croft Architecture
  • South Staffordshire College Croft Architecture
  • South Staffordshire College Croft Architecture
  • South Staffordshire College Croft Architecture
  • South Staffordshire College Croft Architecture
  • South Staffordshire College Croft Architecture
  • South Staffordshire College Croft Architecture
  • South Staffordshire College Croft Architecture
  • South Staffordshire College Croft Architecture
  • South Staffordshire College Croft Architecture

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