Economy Minister Gordon Lyons has officially opened the new £30m Erne Campus of South West College in Enniskillen, designed by Hamilton Architects.
The 8,200 m2 state-of-the-art campus opened its doors to students at the beginning of September and can accommodate 800 full-time students, 2,000 part-time students and 120 staff.
The Erne Campus is one of the world’s most sustainable educational buildings, having secured both PassivHaus Premium and BREEAM Outstanding accreditations.
Paul Millar, Partner, speaking at the opening said: “Hamilton Architects are delighted to have been the creative influence and designers for this wonderful building. We wish the staff and students well in their new campus and we applaud the client body and funders for their vision, foresight and drive.”
Speaking after performing the official opening, the Minister said: “I am delighted to be able to officially open this fantastic new educational facility for South West College.
“The new complex is a superb example of what we can achieve in Northern Ireland and will provide a high-quality educational environment for learners for many years to come.
“The building has secured world-class sustainability accreditations, the first in the UK to do so, and the college will capitalise on this by delivering a series of innovative and complementary learning and skills programmes, including wind, biomass, sustainable construction, hydrogen, energy storage and sustainable food.”
Chief Executive of South West College Michael McAlister said: “A long-standing vision has been achieved with the opening of this fantastic building which has been designed with the needs of our students, community and industry partners firmly in mind.”
In addition to a high-end Cyber Centre, students can avail of an ultra-modern Learning Resource Centre equipped with the latest IT equipment and an extensive library of hard copy and digital resources. The Erne Campus also has an array of science labs, computer suites and breakout areas to support STEM education.
Other resources include media suites, training and production kitchens for hospitality and culinary arts, and high specification hairdressing and beauty salons which have been designed to ensure students are industry-ready when they complete their qualifications.