Kier will construct a 210-seat timber-clad auditorium, a three-storey teaching block and 2,600 m² of teaching space.
A 550 m² atrium, with a glazed wooden roof, will provide an exhibition space, teaching space and theatre foyer.
The facility is scheduled to be completed during summer 2021.
Phil McDowell, regional director at Kier Regional Building Northern, said: “We’re pleased to be delivering this important project for York St John University which is being constructed in response to the university’s growing demand for creative subjects. We have a wealth of experience in delivering educational facilities and look forward to working with the university to create the Centre.”
Rob Hickey, the university’s chief operating officer, said: “We’re delighted to partner with Kier, having been impressed by their strong track record of projects in the education sector.”