National office fit out and refurbishment specialist Overbury has delivered the first two phases of a comprehensive staged refurbishment project to transform the student teaching and learning experience at Stratford-upon-Avon College.
Overbury has redeveloped Blocks A and B of the college campus as part of a significant investment in specialist facilities and equipment that began during the national coronavirus lockdown.
The contractor worked with Associated Architects to reimagine the exterior of the 1960s building, with the creation of a new eye-catching main entrance to attract visitors from the A422 Alcester Road and adjacent Stratford-upon-Avon Train Station.
The modern looking structure is complemented by the addition of new revolving entrance doors, stone flooring, new curtain walling and a feature entrance canopy, as well as a respray to existing cladding and windows to create a more welcoming approach.
Overbury has delivered a full overhaul of the interior, with a rejuvenated reception area boasting sustainable features including LED lighting and feature timber clad walls. New management offices, breakout areas, toilets and meeting and teaching spaces have been created, with new tiled flooring and furniture throughout. Both blocks benefit from improved ventilation, with new data and feature acoustic, timber raft ceilings and reconstructed stairwells.
Work on the 24-week refurbishment project began in a live campus environment in the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic and was completed in time for the start of the academic year. The project team included Novus as project manager, M&E engineer Couch Perry Wilkes and quantity surveyor RLF.
Lindsey Stewart, chief operating officer, Stratford-upon-Avon College, said: “The College has embarked on an ambitious refurbishment project to re-imagine the campus at Stratford-upon-Avon College. We have been impressed at Overbury’s ability to continue working safely during the COVID-19 pandemic, and despite all the challenges that this entailed they had delivered two refurbished blocks for us by September. Overbury has been a key part of that project in the first two phases and provided us with a high standard and level of quality which will be the benchmark we use going forward in future phases.”
Alan Hastings, director of operations, Stratford-upon-Avon College, said: “Overbury has delivered a refurbishment project for the College that is a real step change for our campus and for how we are viewed by our stakeholders. One of the reasons young people choose a College like ours is because they are looking for a path and an experience that is very different to school. The refurbished buildings set us apart from that school experience. They deliver on the tone and feel we wanted, are visibly striking and visually interesting to students. From the start, the Overbury team has been very committed to meeting our needs. They have been responsive to change, pre-emptive and worked collaboratively with us in suggesting better alternatives to building solutions that we had not considered. We are delighted with the newly refurbished spaces, and our staff and students enjoy using them.”
Penelope Mitchell, education and public sector business development manager for Overbury, said: “This refurbishment project represents a considerable investment in transforming the overall student experience and delivers new facilities that are second to none throughout Warwickshire. The focal point is the striking new entrance that provides a stronger street presence, drawing visitors into the college and supporting the future growth of the campus. It is especially pleasing to have completed the project given the challenges posed by a national lockdown. We’ve taken a really collaborative approach, working closely with colleagues at Stratford-upon-Avon College and the wider project team to find new ways of delivery that ensured the health, safety and wellbeing of everyone on site.”
Overbury specialises in the fit out and refurbishment of higher and further education facilities. The contractor recently completed projects worth more than £4.4 million at the University of Birmingham and delivered the £1 million fit out of an Arts and Design Centre at Dudley College of Technology.