Work has started on building a new £6.8m Sixth Form Centre as part of Middlesbrough College’s ambitious plans for education in the area.
Today hands-on Principal and Chief Executive Mike Hopkins was ready to dig in at a ceremony to mark the beginning of construction.
Middlesbrough College Sixth Form which will specialise in AS and A Levels will be known as ‘MC6’ and is due to open in the Academic Year 2012/13.
MC6 will give students from across the Tees Valley access to some of the best facilities in the UK -13 classrooms, tutorial rooms, a student lounge, café and sports facilities including a full size flood lit Astro turf pitch and a ‘high ropes’ centre with zip wires etc.
Mr Hopkins said: “It is wonderful to see work actually begin on the new MC6 building after so many months of planning.
“Demolition has started and I’m looking forward to watching the centre grow into the outstanding centre for learning that will enhance the opportunities and facilities on offer to young people in the Tees Valley.
“As well as fantastic AS and A Level facilities the sports facilities will add greatly to what is available in the town and MC6 will help us to drive ambition and aspiration and inspire success from our young people.
Chairman of Governors Bob Brady said: “This is a clear indication of the Governors’ determination to do all the things Mike has talked about doing to provide great opportunities for the young people of the area. Students will be valued as individuals and treated like young adults.
“We are able to offer a great package of benefits to encourage young people to come and take advantage of the best educational qualifications delivered by dedicated staff - and to make the most of the opportunities coming their way.
“As one of the largest employers and the biggest provider of further education in the Tees Valley we have a major role to play in the economic regeneration of the area and we are determined to make the most of it.”
It is expected the new centre will attract 300 more students into AS and A Levels in the town and allow the College to offer a wider choice of subjects – helping to raise aspiration and achievement across the region.
As well as creating jobs during construction the Centre will create 19 full time posts when it opens. It will be built opposite the existing College, running along Dock Street between Lower East Street and Commercial Street.
Middlesbrough College is celebrating again this year with excellent results in A level and BTEC National Diplomas qualifications. Thirteen A level subjects (art, business studies, chemistry, computing, english literature, environmental studies, film studies, history, human biology, ICT, maths, media studies and photography) achieved a 100 per cent pass rates and there was also a 22 per cent increase in numbers of A* - B grades at A Level.