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18 December 2013, 06:54
Southampton Solent University has been given the go-ahead to build a new £30 million teaching and conference block.
Redevelopment plans for the University’s city centre campus on East Park Terrace have been given approval by the city council’s planning panel on Tuesday 17 December.
Work will begin on the new building in the new year. It is the first step of a major redevelopment that will transform the campus and the East Park neighbourhood over the next seven years.
“Getting approval to start work on this exciting new development is great news for our students, staff and the city,” says Southampton Solent University’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Van Gore.
“In addition to the £20 million we have already spent on enhancing our facilities over the last five years, this flexible, vibrant and dynamic new space will further enrich the student experience at Solent and visually transform the neighbourhood,” he added.
The new structure will sit alongside the Sir John Everett Millais building and will be linked to the rest of the East Park Terrace (EPT) site through the atrium, opening up the campus for easier circulation.
Designed by Scott Brownrigg and due to be completed in 2015, a spectacular atrium will form the central hub of the new teaching block and conference facilities. Measuring 18 metres across and 80 metres long, it will include a multifunctional suspended ‘pod’ with a viewing platform above.
The new building will provide centrally located lecture and seminar facilities, together with social and flexible space for exhibitions, shows and events. It will have state-of-the-art lighting, acoustics and equipment. Beneath the atrium there will be a series of underground lecture theatres, one of them arranged in an oval ‘Harvard’ style.
The new structure is the first phase of a planned transformation of the whole EPT campus which will eventually include a new sports and sports science complex, a landscaped plaza and enhanced facilities for students, staff and visitors. It forms one of the ‘Very Important Projects’ in the exciting Master Plan to realise Southampton’s City Centre Vision.
Solent University has made significant investments in its facilities over past five years including: a brand new Media Academy with excellent facilities for all digital and creative courses; a new School of Art and Design; FA-accredited sports facilities at Test Park; and business start-up pods for student entrepreneurs.”