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Virtual Tour Helps Scarborough’s Sixth Form College Showcase Multi-million Pound Refurbishment

Scarborough, December 2018.

A new virtual tour allows online viewing of the main social and work spaces throughout Scarborough Sixth Form College using either a desktop computer, a phone or tablet or a virtual reality headset.

Potential students and their family now have an extra chance to get excited about their future education by browsing online the dance studio, sports hall, theatre, music room and recording studio as well as social spaces such as the open plan Hub, the Cafe and the college library.

The 1930s brick-built former grammar school building was improved in a £3m refit in collaboration with Seven Architecture (who also designed Scarborough youth facility The Street) with the goal of improving the learner experience. As a result, the college provides new social spaces and a more grown up, university feel.

Scarborough web developers Digital Zest initially provided 360 degree views of key rooms and were asked back to complete all the 14 key locations and the corridors between them to make a more realistic experience of walking around the college.


 

Scarborough web developers Digital Zest initially provided 360 degree views of key rooms and were asked back to complete all the 14 key locations and the corridors between them to make a more realistic experience of walking around the college.

The Virtual Tour went live on the college website (also designed by Digital Zest) in the spring of 2018 and has been seen over 600 times. It was "very useful for promotion" said Maria Khan, marketing manager who used it mostly on their very active social media accounts to publicise open evenings prior to the 2018 intake. The tour also forms a key element of the college's website homepage.

Where the architects worked to improve accessibility not just with ramps and lifts but also with site decisions such as placing the music technology block adjacent to drama to promote artistic community, the virtual tour also provides an additional, easily-accessible way for family members and interested parties to see inside.

 

As educational methods move away from the blackboard and towards groupwork and developing collaboration skills there is increasing demand for more flexible, social spaces for learners, and this must usually be achieved with tight budgets which can mean doing more with what's already there. For example, the college is arranged around a centre court yard which wasn't previously being used, but it's now become a social space visible through the new glazing in the library and accessible from the learning Hub. Simon Parker, Director and education market specialist at Seven Architecture emphasised that the project was very much a team effort aimed at “realising the college's dream, rather than imposing ours”.

The architect and college also worked with Sarah Phillips, Director of Tyneside's Picto Sign Solutions which specialises in wayfinding and signage, the results of which can be seen in the virtual tour. In the first few days especially, new students needed clearer direction as they moved between classes. The company developed a logical room numbering system, colour coded the buildings, clarified entrances, removed detail (which otherwise needs to be regularly updated) and used simple signs and pictograms for faster cognition with a nice, contemporary feel and also produced a series of maps.

 

 

The VR scenes were shot over a couple of mornings after the cleaners had done their work, before the students arrived but during daylight, all in co-ordination with the college estates manager. Digital Zest then collated all the high resolution images into a coherent virtual tour along with the college logo, static photographs, video footage, course content and links.

The state college was established in 1973 and serves over 1,000 students from mainly five local schools in a catchment that includes Whitby, Bridlington and Pickering. Many students are children or even grandchildren of former students so the virtual tour is very useful for showing families what's changed at the college. Paul Taylor, Founder of Digital Zest said "having studied here about 20 years ago I was amazed at how bright, colourful and light the changes made it feel .. I wanted to go back and do it all again".

While perusing the tour which can be accessed here: http://bit.ly/s6fv-t, viewers may easily access information about the courses that happen in each location. As well as offering traditional A Levels, the college also offers a variety of vocational opportunities such as childcare and health and social care, and it is also a football and rugby academy.

 

For a no-obligation virtual tour quote or chat, connect with Paul Taylor at 01723 332080 or email hello@digitalzest.co.uk

 

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