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Fri September 24 2021

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Huddersfield Uni transformation takes shape

4 Jul 18 A £71m programme of capital construction works is transforming facilities at the University of Huddersfield.

Morgan Sindall is on course to complete the £30m Barbara Hepworth Building in July 2019
Morgan Sindall is on course to complete the £30m Barbara Hepworth Building in July 2019

Projects overseen by the university’s department of estates & facilities range from a £30m new home for the art, design and architecture faculty to the £2m transformation of a workers' bath house into a café.

Also under construction is an £18.2m block that includes facilities to enable college students to form links with their local university and stimulate their interest in science.

Among the numerous smaller projects is a £2m electricity substation that is being built by Britcon.

The most ambitious of the current projects is the £30m Barbara Hepworth Building, the new home of the university’s School of Art, Design and Architecture.  Its foundation stone was laid early in 2018 and contractor Morgan Sindall is on target for the July 2019 completion date. 

The site of the Barbara Hepworth Building was once occupied by the foundry firm Thomas Broadbent and still standing is the 1955 bath house used by the workers.  This was designed by the Huddersfield practice Abbey Hanson Rowe, which evolved into AHR – and this is the company that will now take on the sensitive task of transforming the listed bath house, which has features influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright, into an art café.

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Already completed – by Bardsley Construction – is an £8.3m refurbishment of the Joseph Priestley Building, home to the university’s School of Applied Sciences.  Work now begins on an adjacent £18.2m science block, with labs dedicated to the study of biology, chemistry and optometry.  The building should be ready by July 2019 and includes the important innovation of an outreach floor to connect with local schools and colleges.

Architect for the science block is ADP and the contractor is BAM, whose past assignments for the University of Huddersfield include the Business School, the Creative Arts Building and the Harold Wilson Building.

There are also £400,000 of improvements at the Charles Sikes Building, home to the Huddersfield Business School. 

Other projects underway include £500,000 of improvements to the library, undertaken by Huddersfield contractor Illingworth & Gregory.  And specialist contractor Jackson Lifts is carrying out £500,000 of upgrades to lifts in three of the university’s main buildings.

Finally, a car park at Wakefield Road, next to the Schwann and Oastler buildings, is to be brought back into use, in a £100,000 scheme designed by architect Jefferson Sheard that will include a number of electric vehicle charging points.

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