By Stuart Maxwell
The dazzling new £42 million North Glasgow College beat off stiff competition to land a top prize at this year’s prestigious Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors’ Scottish awards.
The College clinched the Community Benefit prize for its eye-catching new campus in Springburn, opened in Febuary 2008 by HRH the Princess Royal. The Princess predicted the new campus would ‘make an impact on many different people within the community.’ And it has.
As well as providing for the ever-changing demands of 21st century education, the new college has become a focal point for people in the local Springburn community. It is also a popular meeting place for a vibrant array of groups. And it is helping many people adjust to the challenges of these troubled economic times by providing re-training for new jobs.
The College’s evening classes and part-time courses have proved a huge boon especially to those who cannot manage full-time study.
Principal Ronnie Knox, who served an apprenticeship at the college in 1968, hailed the award as a ‘great honour’, describing the new campus as an ‘iconic building of Europe – not just Glasgow’.
He added: ‘This new campus has been a massive benefit to a community socially deprived for a long time – since the end of the locomotive industry. Springburn once was for train-building what the River Clyde was for ship-building.
‘North Glasgow college has major facilities that the community use and has provided many jobs for previously unemployed people.’
Among other buildings, the College beat Edinburgh Zoo’s Budongo Chimpanzee Trail which is consistently one of Scotland’s top tourist attractions.
The Springburn campus was designed by Paul Stallan of RMJM Architecture and the project was managed by Turner and Townsend, who enjoyed great success at the awards. In total, four category winners were Turner and Townsend projects.
Glasgow’s success at the prestigious event did not end with North Glasgow College. Both The International Financial Services District and Pollok Realm buildings, were nominated.
The ceremony for the Scottish RICS award winners was held in May but the glitz and glamour continues. Principal Knox and colleagues will have to put on their tuxes and gowns again for another red-carpet day in October when all category winners, worldwide, will converge for a global awards night in London. A very glamourous curtain raiser for the new academic year!