The recent completion of the university’s £28m Oastler Building, which is a new base for Humanities, means that the Joseph Priestley can become a dedicated science block. It is being re-fitted for this purpose, to a design by architect AHR.
The lowest three of the four storeys are being gutted and will be remodelled internally. The external appearance will change too, with a new façade with finned metal cladding. Work is due to be completed by the end of 2017.
Bardsley regional manager Rick Smeaton said: “This contract represents our first major project for the University of Huddersfield and provides our Yorkshire office with an ideal opportunity to enhance our reputation for the delivery of high quality and bespoke educational facilities.”
The building began life in the 1960s as the Z building, because of its shape, then the West Building and more recently renamed after the local scientist famed for his discovery of oxygen.
With an eye to the future, part of the refurbishment project is the construction of a link to connect the Joseph Priestley Building to an all-new science block planned for an adjacent space currently used as a car park.
However, the next major development at the University of Huddersfield will be a new £30m home for the School of Art, Design & Architecture, to be constructed on a site that has been cleared to the west of the campus. This will be called the Barbara Hepworth Building, after the Wakefield-born sculptor, and is scheduled for completion by autumn 2019.