Merton Adult Education celebrates opening of new art block

Merton councillors and students tried their hand at being creative with clay on Thursday 19 May to celebrate the formal opening of the new Merton Adult Education art block.

The former carpark on the college grounds has been transformed into two large classrooms offering separate spaces for art and pottery.

The opening marks national Adult Learners’ Week (14-20 May). During this week adults across the borough took part in free courses on a variety of topics from active lifestyles to childcare, language learning to CV writing.

The pottery classroom houses a brand new kiln room for students to use. New storerooms have been constructed as part of the new building which will free up space for teaching in the new rooms and existing upholstery room. The new block is linked to the rest of campus with full disabled access and an additional disabled toilet on site.

In addition to the new art block, a sensory garden has been built to offer students a relaxing multipurpose green area for study breaks and gardening workshops. A new greenhouse is now housed on site and the new building has many considerations to keep it green.

The new building has been constructed to provide a quality learning environment for the students and benefit the natural environment too. A sedum roof offers a reduction in energy and heating costs by keeping the building warm in the winter and cool in summer months. As well as protecting the roof structure itself, the living roof attracts wildlife and absorbs carbon dioxide. The new art building has been fully installed with low energy lighting which is activated by motion sensors.

The new building will enable Merton Adult Education to offer students more art-based courses, including pottery, sculpture, drawing, painting, watercolours, oil painting, life drawing and life sculpture.

The new art block is part of a programme for the overall site which has made room for the successful expansion of Joseph Hood Primary School as part of the borough’s school expansion programme.

Merton Council cabinet member for Education, Councillor Peter Walker said: “This is part of our investment in Merton’s education offer. MAE provides residents with a range of opportunities to further their education and gain qualifications. It’s great to see the students using the new facilities to improve their skills in such an enjoyable way.”

For more information or to book a course visit or call 020 8274 5222.

Notes to editors:

· Case study available of Head of Adult Education, Yvonne Tomlin, and also a deaf learner, Larriane-Anne Moore, who was named as Adult Learner of the Year in 2010.

Photo 1348 is the Director of Community and Housing, Simon Williams, with pottery tutor Karen Tooth
Photo 1335 is student Vincent Harris and Leader of the Council, Councillor Stephen Alambritis


Leoni Munslow

Communications Assistant

Merton Council

Tel: 020 8545 4654