THOUSANDS of students face another long delay in moving into a new college.
Kirklees College chiefs have confirmed further hold-ups in the building of their new £74m Waterfront Quarter campus in Huddersfield.
The bulk of the students will now not move into the campus until September 2013 – a full 12 months after the original plan.
Exact reasons for delays in construction have not been given, although the complex ventilation system is one problem that has had to be overcome.
But it is believed college officials will be looking at implementing time penalty clauses in the final arrangements with contractors.
It was in June that college officials confirmed they would not move in September from their existing New North Road campus because of delays.
Now they have admitted it will be September next year before all students are in.
The college expects to take over the building at the Waterfront Quarter off Manchester Road and Chapel Hill in the new year to get the facilities ready for students from the summer.
It is anticipated that process will take approximately three months and will include the installation of IT infrastructures and fitting out the atrium, refectory, training kitchens, hair and beauty salons, fitness centre, restaurant, air cabin simulator and science labs.
Melanie Brooke, vice-principal for corporate services, said: “The exterior is more or less complete, as are the internal building works.
“The building has been designed to high environmental standards and does not have opening windows, so that temperature is controlled internally and efficiently. Therefore effective mechanical ventilation is key to the overall design.
“It is this aspect of the project which has played a central role in the delay to the completion of the building.
“The college has been clear with the developer that we cannot accept a building which does not meet the high standards which were designed on our behalf.
“The original timeline for the move was very tight and although we would not have chosen a delay, we now have the opportunity to make a huge success of an official opening in September 2013 that we and our community deserve.
“We’re really excited about the completion of the building. The opening of our new Engineering Centre in St Andrew’s Road has had a positive impact on enrolment and engagement with major employers. We hope the new Huddersfield Centre, Waterfront Quarter, will have a similar impact, but on an even larger scale.”
She added: “As is standard practice there are robust contracts in place with the developers including financial contingencies, but at this point in time we are focusing on finding a solution.
“We are currently in the bidding process for the New North Road building with a number of interested parties.
“We are working closely with professional advisers at Dove Haigh Philips to sell this site.”
The new centre will replace the New North Road site with a nine- storey, state of the art building for thousands of learners.
The College has 20,000 full and part-time students and the bulk of those will use the Waterfront campus.
The new campus is set to include seven hair and beauty salons, four training kitchens, a training restaurant with views of the Waterfront, five science labs, six business suites and a fully-equipped fitness centre.