Topping out ceremony to mark construction milestone at new MK College building


Students, staff, and members of the Ashe Construction team celebrated fitting the final piece of the roof in a topping out ceremony at Milton Keynes College’s new South Central Institute of Technology (SCIoT) Building at Bletchley campus recently.

Andrew Peck Building, which is home to Milton Keynes College’s SCIoT, is being refurbished and extended under an £11m design & build scheme to provide much needed space to increase numbers on the technology courses offered by the college.

Topping out

Construction has now reached its highest point and around 40 guests gathered to watch the last part of the roof put in place before hearing about all the exciting plans for the new facilities.

Ashe Construction’s project manager Danny Roberts said: “It’s great to get to this point in any project. We can celebrate our progress and enjoy all the work that’s been put into building the new facilities so far.

“The Ashe team is looking forward to completing the final stages of the project before we hand over the building to Milton Keynes College. We’re immensely proud of our work here and can’t wait to see the students making the most of their new home.”

There are currently around 500 students studying at the Institute. Andrew Peck Building was originally constructed in 2005 and the new extension will enable more students to be trained in all aspects of IT.

James Nowell, head of school at the South Central Institute of Technology, said: “It’s been fantastic to celebrate a key milestone in the building project for the SCIoT Bletchley campus. We’ve been delighted with the work of Ashe Construction in bringing our vision to life, and we’re excited to see the building taking shape.

“What’s even more exciting is what the completed building will bring – state-of-the-art facilities to allow us to deliver higher education courses that connect digital education with industry leaders. We’re looking forward to having the building completed and the campus fully open for September 2023.”

Social value

As part of Ashe’s commitment to adding social value to all its projects, the company has been working with students at the college and highlighting the many career opportunities that exist in the construction industry. Ashe has encouraged local sub-contractors to sign up trainees and apprentices on the project. Ten trainees are now learning new trades and Ashe has taken on a full-time apprentice who will follow the route of a trainee site supervisor.

About the building

The new steel frame building has four storeys and is connected to the existing three storey building to create lots more learning space. A feature of the new building will be an atrium with skylights to flood the lower floors with natural light. There will be a lecture theatre on the ground floor and when both buildings are in operation there will be six new learning spaces on the ground floor, nine on the first floor, seven on the second and four on the fourth, so plenty of room to allow for the growth in student numbers. Each level will have break out areas and there’ll be a café and toilets. There’s an additional lift being installed to make the building more accessible.

This is the sixth project Ashe has undertaken for the college since 2011. Previous projects include the College’s innovation and technology centre in 2011, the refurbishment of the beauty therapy practice rooms in 2021 and works at the Chaffron Way building in 2022.

For more information about what the SCIoT has to offer, you can visit