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Ipswich, an industrial town with a large number of men employed at the railway workshops, the woollen mills and coal mines in an era where technical education was greatly needed. At an auspicious meeting held on 26 June 1891, attended by leading citizens of Ipswich a resolution was handed down stating “the time has come for a Technical College to be formed in Ipswich”.

Funds raised by the local community of £1000 combined with a government grant of £2000, works began on an architect design of a Grand Public Building by George Brockwell Gill. Construction began in 1897 by contractor H Woodford and brickworks by G Williams. The purpose built college was a memorial to the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria whom unfortunately passed two weeks prior to her visit to the College.

From 1901 to 1941 saw the construction of four Stately buildings (and expansions) that would later provide key adaptive reuse elements for unique heritage conservation. In 1901 the main building (Block A), a two storey brick masonry building (with basement) was constructed on the corner of Limestone and Ellenborough Streets. With its heavily ornamented and eclectic façade the building is symmetrically framed by identical breakfronts and a cornered entrance.

Prior to the construction of the Technical College the site was the original site for the supply of water to the City of Ipswich hence the name ‘Pumpyard’.