A NEW state-of-the-art facility being built at Swindon College is already paying dividends.

Work started earlier this year on a new bricklaying and construction centre at the college which is hoped will help it to provide workers to meet the growing local demand.

However, instead of waiting until the building is finished before using it for teaching purposes, students are being allowed to go on site to observe.

“We have built a special viewing platform from which students can watch what is going on,” said site manager Phil Edwards.

“It gives them a brilliant opportunity to see first hand a building going up. As it progresses we will get bricklayers onto the site so we will be able to provide the students with first hand demonstrations.

“Instead of waiting until the building is finished we have been able to make use of it straight away.”

When complete the building will be 800 square feet and two stories high. It will consist of a main area for brickwork as well as 26 plastering bays and will be able to hold 75 students at any one time.

Phil said: “Work is progressing well and is on time to be completed by August, ready for the new year. When we first got here there was heavy rain which set us back a bit but we have worked hard and drafted in extra workers so now we have caught up.”

As it stands, construction students have to travel to the Kembrey Park campus but when the new centre opens next September they will be part of the main campus.

Over the next 12 years there are expected to be more than 22,000 houses built in the Swindon area and it is hoped the students using the new facility will be able to provide the required workforce.

Vice principal, Nick Letchet said: “This is a really exciting development for the college. It is important our students are equipped with the right level of skills and expertise required by the construction sector in Swindon.

“The centre will add to our state-of-the-art construction facilities and help us to attract even more students, who wish to pursue a career in the sector. It will also help to improve the student experience.”