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County Technical College 1948

Though not part of the history of Wootton, so many people within the village have used this facility it was decided to include the information we have found.

Work on the first part of the new college facility started mid 1948 and was the biggest education project yet undertaken on the island, initially three buildings were planned together with smaller ancillary units However plans exist for further extensions in the future, the three buildings under construction are; -
A. The building will houses all the essential service and containing the boilers for providing heat to the site together with the electrical equipment, in addition engineering workshops which require both power and heat
B. The main engineering block which will contain the majority of the heavy engineering equipment.
C. The administration block housing, staff accommodation, classrooms and catering facilities
D. The work is on schedule, and is due to be completed in 1950.

The current project is the first part of the County Council aim to provide engineering and technical education for everyone, especially those starting an apprenticeship. The engineering facilities were given priority to ensure the availability of suitably train people to work in local industries and will expand on the excellent work already being carried out by the Cowes Engineering School. Overall cost of the scheme is in the region of £200,000.

The Site.

Twenty acres of land have been earmarked for the total facility when complete, but only half is currently in use. The site overlooks Newport and has extensive views of the surrounding countryside and the Medina Valley. The sub soil is clay, and extra drainage has been provided to ensure stability of the building’s foundations. At a later stage three football pitches will be laid out to the east of the site [towards Newport].

Access.

This was an important point in choosing the site; Newport Railway Station being only five minutes walk away and the new college is well served by local bus services. Provisional plans already exist for a new Newport Secondary School to be sited between Parkhurst Forest and Carisbrooke.

Layout

Though completion of the overall project is some way off, it is envisaged that the building will stretch some 240 feet in an approximately East/West alignment. The centre section will have double doors and contain the headmaster office, staff and other accommodation. To the east of the centre block there will be three 24-foot square classrooms and a library. The west wing will provide the catering services and student facilities.

Machine shop and Laboratories.

The engineering facility some 240 feet by 130 feet includes three large shops housing, machine, joinery and automobile facilities. Other sections will include heat engines, aerodynamics, hydraulics, mechanics, chemistry and metallurgy laboratories, in other words a very comprehensive facility. The college aims to offer ordinary and higher national certificates in mechanical and electrical engineering, shipbuilding and naval architecture. Ordinary national certificate in production engineering will be on offer as well as courses leading to City and Guild qualifications.

Design/Construction.

The initial designs were prepared by Mr. S. Gregson who was county architect when the project was first conceived; later the work was taken over by the current county architect Mr. F.H. Booth. Main contractor being Messrs Gee, Walker and Slater Ltd., a large mainland company. During the design stages the County Council sought the advice of Messrs J.S. White and Co and Messrs Saunders-Roe together with other island companies. H.W. Morey & Sons supplied the joinery and Westridge Construction Co. did the preliminary site work.

Source: IWCP 29 October 1949

This page was last edited on: 4th March, 2015 06:17:12

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