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AN AUSTRALIAN pop icon has opened a £26million college campus.

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AN AUSTRALIAN pop icon has opened a £26million college campus.

Jason Donovan, the original Joseph and the Technicolour Dreamcoat star, unveiled a plaque at the revamped site of Orpington College, in the Walnuts, Orpington.

Parliamentary candidates Jo Johnson and David McBride joined Bromley police boss Charles Griggs and other community leaders at the ceremony.

Mr Donovan said: "I have two kids at school in London so I am aware of the real importance of the environment in which children learn.

"Our education is such an important part of who we are as we grow up."

He added: "I remember when I finished my GCSE equivalents in Australia with a plan to do politics.

"Somehow I got lost on the way and ended up as a pop star with a dodgy mullet."

The eco-friendly, four-storey Ozone building, and refurbished 10-storey tower block, was completed by construction firm Willmott Dixon two months early.

The ambitious project includes a Termodeck flooring system, which stores heat throughout the day, a self-cooling roof and Ecoquiet PCs that use 50 per cent less electricity than normal computers.

Speaking at the opening last Wednesday, college principal Simon Norton said: "It is a fantastic feeling to have these facilities that will benefit students of all ages. Great buildings don't make a great college. You have got to get the teaching right, but these will definitely help." The new buildings were made possible by a £25million grant from the now-defunct Learning and Skills Council.

Jo Johnson, Conservative parliamentary candidate and brother of London Mayor Boris Johnson, said: "It is critically important that young people are given the best opportunities in life."

Orpington College, opened in 1973, counts musicians Billy Idol, Siouxsie Sioux and the Bromley Contingent among its rock'n'roll alumni.

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