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Top class facilities in College’s new Booth Lane building

Staff and students are enjoying top class facilities in Phase One of Northampton College’s impressive new building at Booth Lane.

Staff and students are enjoying top class facilities in Phase One of Northampton College’s impressive new building at Booth Lane.

A circular-shaped library, professional theatre spaces, state-of-the-art automotive spray booths and dedicated science labs with central floating teaching islands are just some of the latest teaching technologies in the new 22,000 square metre structure on the corner of St Gregory’s Road and Booth Lane. The building is also on target to achieve an ‘excellent’ BREEAM rating for best practise in sustainable design.

Principal, Len Closs said, ‘We have been working towards this exciting moment since we first sought the go ahead, back in 2006, for what was to become one of the country’s most innovative and ambitious FE College improvement ventures. Since then we have extended our Lower Mounts site in the Town Centre and are now moving into the first phase of our new landmark building at Booth Lane. The move marks a momentous period in our 38 year history and the Town and its students are set to benefit from the first rate facilities for generations to come.’

Staff and students moved into Phase One of the new building over the Easter break. The second and final phase of building work at Booth Lane will start in the spring 2011 and will be completed in July next year with full access from late 2012.

Remembering how it used to be

Jan Bell, 63, Lecturer started working at Booth Lane in 1981. She has taught secretarial, business, IT, customer service, teaching, counselling and those with special educational needs during that time. She said, ‘I started working at the College as a Secretarial Lecturer in the early 80s and it’s certainly changed a lot since then in terms of its buildings, the layout and the way we teach. When I think back the first thing that springs to mind is how the use of computer technology has moved on. In the new building we will have fantastic computer facilities and PCs and mobile phones are a way of life now but I remember when we used to use electronic typewriters and in a room where there were over 20 machines that was quite noisy! I also remember when the secretarial department got its first computer which used to crash every time you pressed a wrong button. We were quite cutting edge but the staff were so scared of it we used to practice in twos. I get reminded nowadays of my age when my former students bring their children in to enrol on courses!’