Posted Friday 20 October 2017
Representatives from key town stakeholders were able to get a glimpse of how the University's completed Town House building will look by watching a computer-generated 3D fly-through and taking a virtual walk around the building at a recent event.
Kingston borough's Deputy Mayor Councillor Mike Head joined fellow councillors and colleagues from local schools and colleges to learn what educational benefits could be gleaned from Town House – both during its construction and when the building opens in 2019. Many attendees also took the opportunity to don some of the University's state-of-the-art Oculus Rift virtual reality headsets to experience the landmark building from the inside.
During the event, the University's Head of Widening Participation Jenni Woods, outlined the type of activities that schools and colleges would be able to get involved in, including the opportunity for individual, bespoke projects.
"We are excited to be working with our construction company Wilmott Dixon to offer a variety of educational opportunities which could include work experience, visits for pupils to the Town House construction site and workshops in schools," she said.
The University had already invested significantly in a comprehensive programme of outreach with schools and colleges across the region, Ms Woods added. "My team works hard to engage learners at all levels by sharing access to resources and facilities and delivering interactive sessions to help raise awareness, aspirations and attainment," she said. "We are ready to take bookings for Town House activities starting in November and we want to make sure our local partners are able to get the most out of this major new construction," she said.
Roger Forsdyke, Managing Director of Willmott Dixon, said that the three-time winner of the educational contractor of the year award had worked with the University to create a range of potential initiatives. "We want to ensure that we not only make a difference to students who attend the University, but also benefit the wider community including helping to kick start careers in the construction industry," he added. "We are delighted to work in partnership with Kingston University to create this legacy as part of the Town House project."
Kingston University Chairman David Edmonds used the occasion to officially introduce the University's Vice-Chancellor Professor Steven Spier, who was formally appointed in May this year having filled the role on an acting basis since last October.
"Steven is passionate about providing a creative, high-quality education and equipping our students to go on to be a success and make a difference in the world beyond," he said. "We both believe that the University forms a key part of Kingston's ecology and has a critical role to play in employment generation. Town House – which will be the most impressive building constructed in Kingston since the Second World War – will further cement this vital town and gown relationship."
Comprising of a Learning Resources Centre, specialist learning spaces, cafés and new landscaped areas, Town House forms part of a major transformation programme being undertaken by Kingston University during the next 10 years to upgrade its estate and further enhance the teaching and learning experience for all its students.