Interserve Completes St Helens College Project
|Interserve, the international support services and construction group, has handed over a bespoke new building for St Helens College in Merseyside, which forms a landmark structure for the city centre next to its high profile, listed Beecham factory building.
As part of the area’s regeneration programme, the project, with a total value of £57 million, was designed by Ellis Williams Architects, and took the form of two build phases totalling 17,500 square metres. The two buildings consist of three and four floors, housing world-class training facilities and resources that provide students with contemporary learning environments. The mechanical and engineering elements of the project were delivered by SPIE Matthew Hall.
The Town Centre Campus buildings were completed nine weeks ahead of schedule and within the budget allocation for the project. The ambitious redevelopment was completed in two phases, with phase one opening in September 2009. The second phase of the project has now opened its doors and accommodates facilities for the teaching of sport, health, social care, hairdressing, beauty and spa therapy.
It was critical that the project provided value for money in order to secure funding from the Learning and Skills Council. Working in collaboration with the college and design team, a value engineering exercise was undertaken and as a result, £2.3 million of savings were made from the initial project cost. In order to reduce the predicted build costs, a number of innovations were introduced to the design. These included using a steel frame rather than concrete; developing innovations in planning and site management; and design development initiatives, which improved buildability and ensured programme certainty.
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The new building provides stimulating, well equipped learning environments. Light and airy study areas combine with safe and secure user friendly environments. Students are able to learn and work in settings which offer real experience of a broad variety of working environments, thereby giving them a distinct advantage when the time comes for them to seek employment. The impressive new college offers ‘breakout spaces’ that are furnished for the students to relax and work in, with full Wi-Fi connectivity. These spaces make optimum use of natural lighting, producing a contemporary environment.
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