APPRENTICES will play a key role in building the new Kirklees College.
The new £46m campus is being built on Manchester Road to replace its current site on New North Road.
College officials, contractors and politicians took part in a turf-cutting ceremony for the Waterfront Quarter development yesterday.
Leeds-based Allenbuild is carrying out the contract.
Director Don Stewart was delighted to see work getting underway yesterday.
He said: “We’ve been working with the college for two years on this so it’s very exciting to finally get on site.”
Mr Stewart added that the building work would boost the Huddersfield economy. He said: “We’re going to have between 100 and 150 people working on the site altogether and we’ve just signed a deal with Kirklees Council to give apprentices first-hand experience of jobs such as plumbing, bricklaying and joinery.”
The nine-storey building will be constructed on a triangle of land between Manchester Road, Chapel Hill and the River Colne.
Preparatory work began yesterday on the 24,000sq m site. Buildings on the site, including West Riding House and Accacia Timer will be torn down and the ground levelled by Easter 2010.
Two years of building work will then begin, with the campus opening to students in September 2012.
Mr Stewart added: “The new building will be environmentally sound. The materials will be sourced locally and the building will have sustainable features, including a living roof.”
The new campus will be the centrepiece of a wider £175m redevelopment known as the Waterfront Quarter, which will include three blocks of flats and four offices buildings. It will create 2,000 jobs.