Designed by Manchester-headquartered interiors and furniture, fixtures and equipment (FF&E) provider, SpaceZero, the 4,200 square metre dynamic education centre will play host to the College’s new innovation and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) offering, dubbed ‘iSTEM’.
The college’s partnerships with key employers in Lancashire, including BAE Systems, Baxi and the Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, are critical to iSTEM provision and will see students work on live industry briefs set by real businesses.
The new curriculum, launching in the 2015/16 academic year, will incorporate iSTEM at its heart, ensuring Preston’s College learners develop the very best skills and knowledge by working together on exciting projects to make them the most employable.
The two-storey centre will feature input, process and output zones to create a holistic approach to iSTEM provision. State-of-the-art facilities including an App design lab, advanced manufacturing workshop, multi-functional science laboratories, 3D printing and rapid prototyping and health & rehab areas will enable students to formulate ideas, test theories and present findings to local firms.
SpaceZero’s fit-out of the iSTEM centre, which is currently under construction by Kier, is due to commence in May, with the handover of the building scheduled for the end of May.
Lis Smith, principal and chief executive at Preston’s College, said: “SpaceZero’s skill set and experience, particularly in education, is the ideal match for the high standards required by the college and we believe they’ve captured the entire essence of iSTEM teaching and what we’re trying to achieve as a forward-thinking education provider.
“The iSTEM centre isn’t just a shiny new building on campus, but a place that will provide real work-based learning to all of our students and ensure they’re able to hit the ground running with the right skills and experience that employers want and need.
“We believe that the centre can play a real role in supporting businesses in key priority growth sectors for Lancashire and we will be encouraging companies to make use of the fabulous facilities and expertise we will have.”