Work is on schedule for Haywards Heath College to open as planned this September, despite facing a number of challenges due to the current COVID-19 situation.
After receiving a high number of applications from across Mid Sussex, the college campus is undergoing a programme of internal improvements.
These include repainting and the installation of LED lighting to support the Chichester College Group’s (CCG) environmental sustainability targets.
Work on the exterior of the building has also started, which includes the careful removal of the old grammar school building and creation of an attractive outside space for the college community to enjoy.
This final development will complete the original planning requirements agreed in 2008, which were not concluded by the previous management.
The group’s management team is continuing to working closely with contractors on campus to ensure work can continue, while at the same time ensuring employees on site are kept safe by adhering to Government guidance for the construction industry.
Shelagh Legrave OBE, Chief Executive of CCG, said: “We are pleased that work is continuing at our Haywards Heath campus and our plans to open in September remain on track despite the current challenges we - and the developers - are facing.
“Although there will be some temporary disruption to residents over the summer while work at the site is completed, we are confident the long-term benefits of the college being open will outweigh any short-term inconvenience.
“The discovery of bats, a protected species, in the old building has delayed the demolition work. We had to wait until the bats had come out of hibernation before we could commence with this stage of the project. “A purpose-built ‘bat-friendly’ home has been created and is now ready to welcome bats back to the campus in the winter.” Paul Riley, Principal of Haywards Heath College, added: “The positive response to the college re-opening and the large number of applications we’ve received from students across the Mid Sussex region has been overwhelming. “We are really looking forward to welcoming our students and staff in September.
“We want our fantastic facilities to be matched by outstanding teaching and support staff so our recruitment continues, albeit remotely.
“We are delighted to be joined by Ben Frier, Vice Principal, and Cris Mummery, Head of Learning. Both bring a wealth of skills and experience to the college.”