June 29, 2015 4.19 pm This story is over 84 months old

First look: Lincoln UTC ready to move into Greestone Centre home

Take a tour inside: The Lincoln University Technical College ready to move into the former Greestone Centre after £7.5m redevelopment.

The Lincoln University Technical College (UTC) is packing up and preparing to move into its brand new home after £7.5 million of investment transformed and expanded on the former Greestone Centre in the city.

After years of planning, Lincoln UTC opened for its first academic year at Chad Varah House in the Cathedral Quarter, and while its first cohort embarked on industry-lead study, partners, contractors and architects were busy building their new permanent college on Lindum Hill.

The Greestone Centre was a former girls’ school and was adopted by the University of Lincoln as the home of their School of Art and Design.

The building has now been given a new lease of life, with the Grade II listed features remaining throughout the renovations, and a new three-storey extension designed to meet the needs of science and engineering studies.

Lincoln UTC provides education opportunities for 14 to 18-year-olds, combining core subjects like maths and English with specialist studies in engineering and science.

The college’s permanent campus will open on September 7, with a high-tech environment and state-of-the-art industry facilities.

Some 200 students will be welcomed to the UTC, bringing the total number of students to 350, with the sixth form more than doubling and plans to expand even further in the future.

Lincoln UTC Principal Dr Rona Mackenzie. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Lincoln UTC Principal Dr Rona Mackenzie. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

In a first look tour of the new campus, Lincoln UTC Principal Dr Rona Mackenzie said the build has been 18 months in the making, with each element of the former building’s restoration and the new extension planned to fit in with the surroundings.

“I’m excited to share the building with the students now,” she said. “The staff had a look last week and the students are coming to have a look this week, so they can appreciate what they have been waiting for.

“We also have new applicants committed for September; when they see this place they won’t believe it.

“Then there’s all our business sponsors. All the different businesses that we have worked with are desperate to get in the door. They have been very patient.

“We will have a grand opening in November once we are in and settled, so that we can appreciate everyone’s contributions.

“This is the combination of so many people’s hard work. Not just contractors Willmott Dixon and JR Roberts our architects, but also all the businesses, Lincoln College, the University of Lincoln and Siemens have done so much for us.

“The completion of the project means that we have bridged that gap between studying and going to work with the kinds of equipment that we have.

“Students will get to use the kinds of equipment here that they would use in business, and that they wouldn’t see in any other school or college in the area.

“It’s a very adult environment and people will see from the building that it’s not like a school. Our students are mature young people and they have risen to the challenge in our current building.

“It feels like a building to fit the vision that we had. It’s perfect.”

“This is a massive investment not only in terms of the building but financially, like the £1 million investment in the science and engineering equipment and the half a million pounds investment in the IT equipment.

“This is over a £7 million project with all of the other elements. Much of that is some of the other buildings like restoring this Grade II listed building and making sure that our beautiful new building fits into the landscape. Then there is all the exciting additions to make it fit for work, and it is an adult work environment.

“We have lots to look forward to. We have our awards ceremony on July 15 celebrating the successes of our students this year.

“Moving in in September, we are ready to face the national competitions and in terms of academia our students are really excelling and we are expecting really strong and impressive AS results.”