Education, Sport & Culture is finalising plans to award the architect contract for the development of The Guernsey Institute’s "unique" post-16 facility, which educational leaders want to turn into "the go-to place for learning".
Subject to final contractual agreements, the committee is intending to award a contract to Design Engine Architects as its Lead Designer. The Winchester-based studio - which designed the redevelopment of Les Beaucamps High School - will be partnered with Guernsey architects Tyrrell Dowinton Associates, who will provide local knowledge and experience.
The Guernsey Institute’s new build will house all three of its organisations - the Guernsey College of Further Education, the GTA University Centre, and the Institute of Health & Social Care Studies. The unique build will have to accommodate a wide range of industry-standard facilities, from workshops, to simulated health care suites to lecture theatres.
The contract will also see Design Engine and Tyrrell Dowinton Associates give 208 weeks of apprenticeship and 48 hours of specialist training sessions will be made available for students of the Guernsey Institute and secondary schools.
Pictured: Design Engine were the architects for Les Beaucamps High School, a project it completed in 2012 as part of a £20.5m contract.
Paul Dowinton, one of Tyrrell Dowinton Associates’ directors, said the firm is excited to be awarded this project alongside Design Engine.
"We will be providing local architectural support and experience while benefiting from the wealth of experience that Design Engine have accumulated following the completion of a significant number of Further and Higher Education buildings throughout the UK and overseas.
"The combination of these skillsets will ensure that this new facility is delivered to the highest standards. This up-skilling, we believe, will equip Tyrrell Dowinton Associates to support The Guernsey Institute and the States of Guernsey in the future."
Jacki Hughes, Executive Principal of The Guernsey Institute, said the redesign will need to reflect the wide range of specialisms that the TGI will offer.
"As we have gone through the tender process we have seen some amazing ideas and concepts, and if we can bring even a fraction of that to life for our organisation, we will have something very special on our hands," she said.
"Our brief is not a simple one though; we want to become a hub for the island’s community; the go-to place for learning, and when we say learning, we mean courses for school leavers, directors, technical and vocational apprenticeships, university-accredited degrees, and courses for hobbies and pastimes.”
Pictured: Design Engine was appointed to design the rebuild of La Mare de Carteret by the Le Pelley/Meerveld Committee in 2018.
Education, Sport & Culture and Economic Development Heads Andrea Dudley-Owen and Neil Inder said that, moving forward, the goal is to ensure the States is supporting Guernsey PLC by becoming less reliant on overseas firms.
"It is extremely encouraging that we have been able to appoint an architect that has a great deal of experience developing further education facilities, while also appointing a local firm with the knowledge of the island which will be needed to ensure this build fits the Bailiwick," said Deputy Dudley-Owen.
Deputy Inder added: "As a Committee, we recently committed to putting more public money back into the local economy. The new procurement approach our officers have taken is the first step on this road; as this project, and others in the future, will eventually allow local firms to compete on an equal footing with UK firms in terms of specific project experience."
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