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Students threaten to boycott 'badly designed' new college building

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Construction students are threatening to boycott Bond Bryan's newly-opened Pagefield Campus in Wigan, claiming the building is 'claustrophobic' and 'badly designed'.

According to one HND student at Wigan and Leigh College, the new £12.5 million building is in such a bad state that her fellow pupils are now unwilling to continue working there.

The students have drawn up a long list of complaints about the three-storey teaching block - a tale of woe which includes problems such as poor ventilation, 'dangerous' snagging issues, no disabled access upstairs and 'tiny classrooms'.

Hailed as a 'centre of excellence for business, construction, engineering, management and technology', the college had hoped the new purpose-built building would provide 'first-rate facilities' for both scholars and teaching staff.

However one student, who enrolled with the aim of becoming a building surveyor, is not impressed.

She said: 'You can't fit 12 people in these classrooms. They are claustrophobic, badly ventilated and people are getting headaches.

'There is a genuine issue with design - you can't work there.'

The student, who wishes to remain anonymous, also said there were health-and-safety problems and that the DDA regulations 'had not been properly thought about'.

In response, a college spokesperson said: 'The college has invested £12.5 million in providing students with purpose-built facilities in the new building at the Pagefield Campus, which is one of the most modern in the UK.

'We are aware of the issues which are affecting some students at the moment and we are currently working with our contractors, ISG Totty, to rectify the problems as soon as possible.'

A spokesman for Bond Bryan said: 'The firm is unable to comment due to its confidentiality obligations.'

by Richard Waite

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