The new building, which is situated next to the college’s 58 Restaurant in College Road, is home to a suite of innovative and interactive spaces which will help to put the college at the cutting edge of training delivery across a range of subjects.
Work was completed at the end of February, with students beginning to use the facility during the spring term.
Vicki Illingworth, Principal at Crawley College, said: “We are delighted with our new STEM Centre. It has been fantastic to see it taking shape over the past year.
“We’ll be using the very latest technology to deliver of our STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects.
“But it goes so much further than that, as we will also be able to integrate these technologies into all subjects across the college.”
The £5million facility, which has been funded by the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), will be used to train students and apprentices in the latest skills required by industries across the region.
It was officially opened by Julie Kapsalis, Chair of Coast to Capital, and Tony Middleton, Acting Chief Executive of Coast to Capital.
They were joined by Andrew Green, Chief Executive of the Chichester College Group, Crawley MP Henry Smith and Cllr Peter Lamb, Leader of Crawley Borough Council, among other guests who have helped to play a role in bringing the vision of the new STEM Centre to life.
Julie said: “Further Education colleges are critical to the skills ecosystem and in supporting the learning and development of people of all ages and backgrounds.
“The project to invest in STEM at Crawley College goes back a number of years, prior to the college’s merger with Chichester College in 2017, and Coast to Capital’s commitment to the building of this STEM Centre has been unwavering.
“It is our vision to build back stronger, smarter and greener – working with our partners to make a difference to people and places, and this project is an exemplary example of this ambition. It will meet and anticipate the skills needs of employers and will train people in the skills needed by businesses in our local community.”
Crawley College Student President Chloe Harrison also spoke at the event, talking about the direct impact the opening of the new STEM Centre will have on her fellow students.
She said: “The new facility provides so many opportunities for students. It gives us a chance to enhance our skills and abilities in a well adapted and professional environment.
“It encourages experimentation in a safe space and knowledge application.
“Crawley College continues to push forward and provide people with lifelong skills we can take into the real world. I’m so proud to be student president at such an inspirational college.”
The building project has been managed by West Sussex-based construction contractors W. Stirland and was designed by HNW Architects.
To find out more about studying at Crawley College, please visit www.crawley.ac.uk