New teaching building approved for sixth form college

An artist's impression of the new building at BHASVIC as seen from Old Shoreham Road. Image from HNW Architects
An artist's impression of the new building at BHASVIC as seen from Old Shoreham Road. Image from HNW Architects

More classroom space is coming to BHASVIC as a new four-storey block is approved by planners.

Councillors praised the design and materials which reflect the new copper-clad building in Dyke Road, Hove, and the red brick of the listed main building.

BHASVIC principal William Baldwin said: “I’m delighted. This is the second major hurdle. I was most worried about the funding.”

BHASVIC was awarded £4 million from the government’s Condition Improvement Fund, open to all schools and sixth forms.

It faced a great deal of competition.

Mr Baldwin said the overall cost of the building and some minor extra works on the college site was estimated to be £8.5 million.

The college planned to borrow about £1.5 million and draw £3 million from reserves.

He described it as a STEAM building rather than a STEM building – a place to teach science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics.

Mr Baldwin said he hoped that work would start next January and be completed in January 2020.

People living in the area were concerned about increased traffic but during questioning from councillors the principal said that the building was not designed to give the college extra capacity for more students – just more teaching space.

At the moment BHASVIC has four square metres of teaching space per student, compared with a national average of seven square metres.

Conditions put on the application included ensuring that the replacement car part was completed before work starts on the new building.

The netball and tennis court south of the sports hall will move to make way for parking spaces but with no impact on the playing field.

This is not the first time that BHASVIC has tried to expand on the Old Shoreham Road side of its site.

A scheme approved in 2008 for a larger L-shaped building fell through after funding was cut by the government.

Councillors voted unanimously to approve the plans, which will include a performance space and £60,300 towards off-site highway works.

Sarah Booker-Lewis is the Local Democracy Reporter for Brighton & Hove.

For more of her stories, click here.