Building works at Vernon Tower, Stockport College.

Trafford College Group wanted to refurbish the front entrance of Vernon Tower during the six week summer holiday, ready for the return of students for the autumn term.

Project Introduction.

Stockport College is part of the Trafford College Group along with The Cheadle College, Marple Sixth Form College and Trafford College. Stockport College has a large campus in the centre of the town where many of the college buildings were built in the 1960s.

Aspire Construction were commissioned by Trafford College Group to complete building works at the Vernon Tower site within the Stockport College campus as part of a refurbishment project to provide improved teaching and learning environments.

Vernon Tower 01

Project Brief.

Trafford College Group wanted to refurbish the front entrance of Vernon Tower during the six week summer holiday, ready for the return of students for the autumn term.

The areas of work to be completed by Aspire Construction included cladding, lighting, resin paving, railings, windows, flooring and decoration.

Early engagement of our services was essential because the specified cladding was subject to a long lead time.


Although students were on holiday during the building works, college staff were still using Vernon Tower so the emergency fire exit through the front entrance where we were working needed to be operational at all times.

We removed the cladding, windows and concrete pavers. The existing front entrance canopy was retained into which we installed new lighting fixtures. New cladding was mounted onto the canopy, and we installed replacement windows.

A new seating area was put in the Vernon Tower entrance to upgrade the social space and make the area more welcoming. We applied fresh resin bound paving to the entrance along with new handrails to facilitate safe entry to the building.

Curtain walling was installed at the entrance to provide a non-structural interface between the interior and exterior of the building. Within the curtain walling we installed two double automated doors with integrated alarm systems.

The final element of our building works was the laying of new flooring and general decoration.

During the development of this project we discovered the presence of asbestos. We responded quickly and safely, and arrangements were made for the asbestos to be removed under controlled conditions.

Vernon Tower 02


Working at the entrance to the building with college staff coming and going, and the need for an emergency fire exit to be accessible at all times in our works area, made the development of the project challenging at times. However, we managed the situation and minimised disruption to building users as much as possible to ensure the project kept to agreed timescales.

The discovery of asbestos was an unexpected challenge that we navigated quickly using our expertise and wealth of contacts. This could have delayed the project considerably but we were able to assist with managing the situation on behalf of the client.

The client was pleased with the building works which took six weeks to complete, particularly as the new entrance was ready for the students’ return to college.

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