Wednesday 3rd September 2008 by C. Freeman
The Design Technology department at Brooke Weston has undergone a £250,000 refurbishment programme to provide enhanced facilities for students. The 551 square metre area has been rearranged to provide a large and small workshop, a dedicated sewing room, a bank of computers, an electronics workshop and a new prep room. The new space is light and airy with all the rooms visible from the central staff office.
The refurbishment, which took a total of 16 weeks, was masterminded by Buildings Manager, Barry Gibb. Existing walls were carefully demolished and the bricks reused so that costs were kept to a minimum. Mr Gibb said: 'This was quite a big project and took a lot of planning. The end result is a better use of existing space which has come in on time and on budget.'
Mr Gibb who designed and project-managed the build, will use the refurbishment as a case study for his course in School Business Management which finishes in November. He said: 'It has been a valuable experience in managing a project from start to finish and it will also stand me in good stead for future projects around Brooke Weston.'
The recycling of existing materials meant that more could be spent on enhanced facilities like the new laser cutting machine in its dedicated room, the latest furniture, rubber safety flooring and powerful lighting needed for the electronics room. Students voted for their favourite designers in an online poll and so the new rooms will be known by the surnames of innovators James Dyson, Frank Whittle, Clive Sinclair, Vivienne Westwood and Jonathan Ive.
Principal, Trish Stringer said: 'The refurbished department is a fabulous asset and will be very much appreciated by the students. I am grateful, not only to Mr Gibb for overseeing all the work and maximising the light and space within the department but I also must thank the teachers and students who have put up with some disruption while the work was carried out.'
Brooke Weston has an ongoing programme of refurbishment. In recent years, carpets, lockers, the changing rooms and restaurant have been updated and a new £2.5m arts and media wing is under construction which should be completed early next year.