Staff and students are enjoying top class facilities after moving into Phase One of Northampton College’s new building at Booth Lane. Professional theatre spaces, state-of-the-art automotive spray booths and dedicated science labs with central floating teaching islands are just some of the latest teaching technologies in the building which opened for learning back in April.

The new 22,000 square metre structure is also on target to achieve an ‘excellent’ BREEAM rating for best practise in sustainable design. With that aspect of the development complete, the second and final phase is well underway, with completion set for July and full access from late 2012.

Principal Len Closs said: “We have been working towards this exciting moment since we first sought the go ahead, back in 2006, for what was to become one of the country’s most innovative and ambitious FE College improvement ventures. “Since then we have extended our Lower Mounts site in the Town Centre and have moved into the first phase of our new landmark building at Booth Lane.

“The move marks a momentous period in our 38 year history and the Town and its students are set to benefit from the first rate facilities for generations to come.’
Ray Starkey, vice principal planning and business development, said: “I have worked at the college for 34 years so have seen lots of changes. The Booth Lane site was very small back in the 70s with only 300 or so students – today we have thousands.”

Lecturer Jan Bell (63) started working at Booth Lane in 1981 and has taught secretarial, business, IT, customer service, teaching, counselling and those with special educational needs. Looking back, she said: “When I think back the first thing that springs to mind is how the use of computer technology has moved on.

“In the new building we will have fantastic computer facilities and PCs and mobile phones are a way of life now but I remember when we used to use electronic typewriters and in a room where there were over 20 machines that was quite noisy.”

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