Open evening Wednesday 6th July
It was a fine dry evening for this long awaited event. There may have been delays in the past, but finally, this College opened its doors to the community.
Walking into the main atrium/hall, one is struck by the light and airy feel of this building. There are vents which control the interior environment so the inside felt very comfortable despite the muggy atmosphere outside.
The interior is quite different from traditional secondary schools . Glass panels on the inside walls of classrooms allows visual contact with the surrounding environment. The Glass makes the building seem bigger than it is – rather like a TARDIS.
The open plan design allows different areas to flow into one another . The main atrium come hall has large steps/seats arising to the first floor. The dining hall is open to the right of the atrium and faces south across the playground and sports pitches. To the left of the atrium, are various sports facilities. There are performance rooms with wall to wall mirrors(agh!) and a large sports hall which is very green. Apparently, the green colour enables the ball to be seen. A separate company will be running the sports facilities and exercise classes for the community. These should be on offer in September so watch out for that information.
The wide central staircase leads from the atrium up to the first floor. There are lifts available for those who cannot manage the stairs. O n the wide landing areas there are informal groups of tables and chairs which can be rearranged for project work outside the classrooms.The Art department has a covered balcony on the south side of the building so work can be done outside in natural light. Other technology rooms on this floor seem to be well equipped and could be used for evening classes such as the local Stitches group. Evening classes will hopefully be on offer soon. There is also an open plan staff room on this floor which will allow easy communication between teachers and students.
The top floor has Science laboratories with brand new equipment and ergonomically designed stools. The benches are not fixed in to allow the room layout to be changed as necessary. There was also a enormous outdoor terrace area for extended use by the Science department. The students should have some fun. There were also some study corners on this top floor with low wooden units which were probably for books and soft seating around.
Overall, the spec of the building seemed to be a very high standard, and it all looked pristine. I hope the students will appreciate these beautiful facilities and prosper in these surroundings.
Well done Parkside, who have spent years planning this school.