Extension bid approved ahead of college merger

An artist's impression of the new extension at Stevenson College

An artist's impression of the new extension at Stevenson College

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A MULTI-MILLION-POUND redevelopment of a city college is set to take place just months before it merges with two others.

Stevenson College has received permission to press ahead with £5 million plans to “significantly enhance” the north campus at Bankhead Avenue in Sighthill.

As well as providing students with more places to study and socialise, the 10,000sq ft redevelopment will give the college a “sleek modern look” and include coffee stations and seating areas.

Work is due to start in the summer and will be completed in time for the start of the 2013-14 academic year.

Stevenson is due to merge with Telford and Jewel & Esk to create one super Edinburgh college on October 1.

Brian Lister, principal and chief executive of Stevenson, said: “We are delighted to announce that Stevenson College Edinburgh has been given the go-ahead to redevelop the north campus.

“We are committed to developing both the learning environment and student social areas on offer at Stevenson. Students are very much at the heart of what we do and much of the redevelopment plans are geared towards improving and increasing the size of the students’ study and social areas.

“This development will allow the Sighthill campus to provide the quality of learning space already provided by our partner colleges in Edinburgh.

“Our students are very excited to hear of the redevelopment plans and I cannot wait to see the final results.

“The refurbishment and expansion plans are key to meeting the future needs of the new college.”

The plans include new entrances to the north and south of the campus, 300 new student learning and social spaces, development of the library and expansion of the catering facilities.

There will also be a new central student support facility, as well as a new walkway and central reception area, as part of the redevelopment. John Martin, learning and teaching student president at Stevenson, said: “This is really exciting news and is going to benefit future students immensely.

“Students have campaigned for more study and social space for many years, and they are delighted to have finally won what looks like a fantastic, bright and energising space, where they will be able to study, socialise or relax when not in classes.”

The development is being carried out by international construction consultancy Turner & Townsend.