£8.15 million University buildings open for business
First phase of UCLan’s £200 million Masterplan is complete
The inaugural project within the University of Central Lancashire’s (UCLan)£200 million Masterplan has opened its doors for the first time.
Preston-based Conlon Construction completed work on the University’s £8.15 million social spaces in January, with the facilities welcoming staff and students from today.
The social spaces will improve the campus experience and provide a place for staff and students to come together in a relaxed environment, while incorporating areas for break out activities and informal spaces for socialising.
Developed with the Students’ Union and as a direct result of student feedback, a single storey ground floor extension has been added to the existing Foster Building, while a new facility has been built which links Harrington and Greenbank buildings.
Key design features include glass roofs and indoor hidden gardens, as well as movable furniture so that staff and students can reconfigure the space to suit their needs.
"The opening of the social spaces marks the beginning of a new era here at UCLan, one that has certainly set the bar very high for the rest of our exciting Campus Masterplan."
David Taylor, Pro-Chancellor and Chair of the University Board, said: “The opening of the social spaces marks the beginning of a new era here at UCLan, one that has certainly set the bar very high for the rest of our exciting Campus Masterplan.
“The new social hubs are outstanding facilities of which we can all be proud, providing integrated spaces where staff and students from different disciplines can mix and meet. It’s exciting to have completed the first phase of our five-year Masterplan, which will serve the needs and ambitions of our University, City and region for many decades to come.”
Sana Iqbal, Students’ Union President, also commented: “The Students’ Union is incredibly proud of the student social spaces. We’ve worked hard for over a year to ensure that every aspect of the design caters for the needs of students. These are spaces for recreational activity; areas to Skype and kitchenettes to make yourself a brew are just some of the ideas that have been brought to fruition in these spaces through rigorous student consultation.”
Michael Conlon, Chairman at Conlon Construction, added: “As a locally based regional contractor, we are delighted to have successfully delivered the UCLan social spaces and to have kicked-off the Masterplan scheme, which when complete will have a major impact on our home city of Preston.”
"These are spaces for recreational activity; areas to Skype and kitchenettes to make yourself a brew are just some of the ideas that have been brought to fruition in these spaces through rigorous student consultation."
The social spaces were designed by multi-award winning architecture practice AHR, working alongside a 13-strong design team made up of key representatives from UCLan, to establish input and ownership from the people who will use the spaces.
The next Masterplan project due for completion is the £1 million purpose-built Oasis Faith and Spirituality Centre, which is expected to open in April 2018.
UCLan’s Masterplan will be delivered over the next five years and will integrate seamlessly with the rest of the City, benefitting current and future generations of students, staff, visitors and the wider community.
See pictures of the new social spaces on UCLan's Flickr gallery.