Principal calls for new Basildon college plans to be passed

Echo: Stephen Metcalfe, Angela O'Donoghue and John Schofield outside the Nethermayne South Essex College Stephen Metcalfe, Angela O'Donoghue and John Schofield outside the Nethermayne South Essex College

THE Principal of the South Essex College says a new £30million College would mean ‘investing in Basildon’s future’.

Angela O’Donoghue says a potential move from Nethermayne to Basildon market square would boost falling education standards in the borough and give a much needed lift to the local economy.

The decision, although not confirmed yet, has been recommended for approval by Basildon Council to be discussed on Tuesday.

Mrs O’Donoghue said: “I met with Stephen Metcalfe MP and councillor John Schofield before Christmas to explain why we need to move from our current site. The current buildings were built 40 years ago and were meant to last 25 years. We keep patching them up and they do the job, but the people of Basildon deserve better than a building that just does the job.”

South Essex College has been expanding across the south of the county - Southend will see the opening of a £27million education centre in the summer and Thurrock’s South Essex College campus, which cost £45million, will be built in Grays town centre, and is scheduled to open by September 2014.

The Basildon college would facilitate 2,000 students, double what the Nethermayne college holds, and introduce new A-Level courses. There would also be a pedestrianised link between the new college and railway station.

Mrs O’Donoghue said moving the college was necessary as the Nethermayne building was aging and needed to be made more modern. She said in a recent poll of the staff and students there showed 84 per cent polled in support of the move.

“The lecturers and students are what make this college a great place to be, but the campus is suffering from an aging building. Although the resources at the current campus are very good, they are expensive to maintain and our students and the courses they need today mean we have different building demands and expectations than those of the last century.”

Comments (5)

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11:39am Mon 28 Jan 13

Cosmo Spring says...

just refurbish and modernise the existing building.
just refurbish and modernise the existing building. Cosmo Spring
  • Score: 0

2:21pm Mon 28 Jan 13

ChampKind says...

Wherever it is, you are still going to have the same calibre of students. It's not as if the Oxbridge set are going to be rushing for a prospectus.
Wherever it is, you are still going to have the same calibre of students. It's not as if the Oxbridge set are going to be rushing for a prospectus. ChampKind
  • Score: 0

2:45pm Mon 28 Jan 13

Cosmo Spring says...

ChampKind wrote:
Wherever it is, you are still going to have the same calibre of students. It's not as if the Oxbridge set are going to be rushing for a prospectus.
you mean to tell me that all those diplomas in fingernails and hair extensions don't lead to people getting places at Oxford or Cambridge?

I'm shocked....
[quote][p][bold]ChampKind[/bold] wrote: Wherever it is, you are still going to have the same calibre of students. It's not as if the Oxbridge set are going to be rushing for a prospectus.[/p][/quote]you mean to tell me that all those diplomas in fingernails and hair extensions don't lead to people getting places at Oxford or Cambridge? I'm shocked.... Cosmo Spring
  • Score: 0

4:03pm Mon 28 Jan 13

watkins says...

All at the cost of losing an Equestrian Centre that has been around for forty years, and have helped some show jumpers to the participate in the olympics and win gold
All at the cost of losing an Equestrian Centre that has been around for forty years, and have helped some show jumpers to the participate in the olympics and win gold watkins
  • Score: 0

9:47pm Mon 28 Jan 13

fedupwithlosers says...

Struggling to find enthusiasm for this College!

We already have one, reason for needing a new one.....the people of Basildon deserve better than a building that just does the job!!!! It was built 40 years ago and was only supposed to last 25 years!! They keep patching it up but it does the job? Then maybe they should have had more maintenance on it before it got so bad! If it were a house, would you decide after 40 years it was a bit shabby so lets demolish it and build a newer more modern one? Only in Craylands it seems, but now there is not the money to do it, so they all lie empty! Would the Council allow us as homeowners to do that? Students and Lecturers are what make the College says Mrs O'Donohue! Then let the same students and lecturers make something of what they already have! A new building will definately not improve the standard of education regardless of campus facilities! I honestly think that the general standard of education in Secondary Schools now is appauling! A new college will introduce new A-level courses....isnt that what 6th forms do? Most of the schools now have 6th forms. This whole scenario is an utter waste of public money, if a student is to excel they will excel at whatever building they study in. £30million spent, the loss of a sports facility, ie the Equestrian Centre which provides the community with leisure as well as NVQ courses (many people in Basildon have no idea it exists!) Too many students are studying nails or the application of false eyelashes etc, vanity seems more important than academic qualities. The sale of Open Green Space never to be replaced just to finance the whole scenario, and to top it all, 750 prestige homes to be built on the land. This is disgraceful. As for the pedestrian walkway from the station to the college, it is already there! Heaven forbid that these poor students may have had to cross a road. I say look again at Basildon, do something about the Hospital that is forever receiving bad press, finish off the Craylands project, give these apparent homeless people somewhere to live. Im sure Mrs O'Donohue and co would manage with a bit of refurbishment to the college they already have. Give her a new office, modernise and update the campus, renovate what you already have, and im guessing you may well have change from the £30million to spend on much worthier and more pressing issues in Basildon. Tomorrow evening at the Council Offices is a meeting about the relocation of this College and also of the Market, im sure a few irate market traders will attend, as will I, im sure it will be very interesting!
Struggling to find enthusiasm for this College! We already have one, reason for needing a new one.....the people of Basildon deserve better than a building that just does the job!!!! It was built 40 years ago and was only supposed to last 25 years!! They keep patching it up but it does the job? Then maybe they should have had more maintenance on it before it got so bad! If it were a house, would you decide after 40 years it was a bit shabby so lets demolish it and build a newer more modern one? Only in Craylands it seems, but now there is not the money to do it, so they all lie empty! Would the Council allow us as homeowners to do that? Students and Lecturers are what make the College says Mrs O'Donohue! Then let the same students and lecturers make something of what they already have! A new building will definately not improve the standard of education regardless of campus facilities! I honestly think that the general standard of education in Secondary Schools now is appauling! A new college will introduce new A-level courses....isnt that what 6th forms do? Most of the schools now have 6th forms. This whole scenario is an utter waste of public money, if a student is to excel they will excel at whatever building they study in. £30million spent, the loss of a sports facility, ie the Equestrian Centre which provides the community with leisure as well as NVQ courses (many people in Basildon have no idea it exists!) Too many students are studying nails or the application of false eyelashes etc, vanity seems more important than academic qualities. The sale of Open Green Space never to be replaced just to finance the whole scenario, and to top it all, 750 prestige homes to be built on the land. This is disgraceful. As for the pedestrian walkway from the station to the college, it is already there! Heaven forbid that these poor students may have had to cross a road. I say look again at Basildon, do something about the Hospital that is forever receiving bad press, finish off the Craylands project, give these apparent homeless people somewhere to live. Im sure Mrs O'Donohue and co would manage with a bit of refurbishment to the college they already have. Give her a new office, modernise and update the campus, renovate what you already have, and im guessing you may well have change from the £30million to spend on much worthier and more pressing issues in Basildon. Tomorrow evening at the Council Offices is a meeting about the relocation of this College and also of the Market, im sure a few irate market traders will attend, as will I, im sure it will be very interesting! fedupwithlosers
  • Score: 0

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