A state-of-the-art college has opened in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter.
The Belfast Metropolitan College Titanic Quarter Campus on Queen’s Road is a completely new learning facility for the city and has been built to replace and consolidate two former college campuses in the area.
Belfast Metropolitan College is located on the site of the former shipping yard where the famous Titanic was constructed. With the capacity to cater for 2,500 full time students, the campus is also available for commercial hire.
The exciting new Titanic Quarter Campus consists of a five-storey building with a central courtyard and covers an area of 22,000 square metres. A walkway bridge is attached to the rear of the college and in a clever nod to the location, the campus has been constructed in the shape of a ship.
The building was constructed using a steel frame and comprises a fully licensed restaurant, a lecture theatre, conference facilities, a board room and a learning resource centre. In addition, there are staff rooms, I.T areas, classrooms and eight kitchens complete with viewing galleries.
Other facilities include commercial hairdressing salons, four beauty salons, a Jacuzzi, a steam room, a sauna, a tanning booth, a gym, a student cafeteria and free Wi-Fi throughout the campus. The external central courtyard features four ponds and is situated directly above a 326-space basement car park.
Construction commenced on the site in April 2009 and was completed in August 2011, with the building now open and fully operational. Funding for the €44 million project was provided by the Department for Education and Learning (DEL).
Main contractor for the project was the Patton and the architect was Todd Architects. The campus will be maintained and operated by Amey on behalf of Ivywood Colleges Ltd.
Employment and Learning Minister, Dr Stephen Farry, said:
“This new state-of-the-art facility is the largest single further education campus in Northern Ireland and is additional evidence of my department’s commitment to the further education sector and to the young people and adults using its facilities.
“The imaginative design draws on the rich history of shipbuilding at the location and the quality of the construction has resulted in a very special place of learning – not only for the local community but for businesses and individuals from across Northern Ireland, and indeed further afield.”
Estate Facilities Manager for Belfast Metropolitan College, Peter Kane, said:
“Our location in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter is ideal as we are in an area of the city where everything is happening, yet at the same time with so much to offer on campus we’re very much like a small community down here.
“The learning environment that has been created really invigorates and encourages students to get involved with all aspects of college life and all of the equipment and facilities have been designed to the highest standards, so students love it!”