New £80million student flats a step closer to completion

Issue date: 23 January 2006


New Student Village The Rt Hon Dame Elizabeth Butler-Sloss GBE, Chancellor of the University of the West of England will today (23 January 2006) unveil a plaque to mark the first stage of completion of the University's new £80 million student accommodation and sports hall project. The ceremony takes place at 12.40pm.

The new accommodation for nearly 2,000 students on the Frenchay Campus, will provide modern and convenient accommodation for students whilst also enabling the University to expand its conference and sports facilities.

Speaking at the ceremony, Sir Howard Newby, Vice-Chancellor Designate of the University said, “This project marks the start of a new chapter in the story of Bristol UWE. The next generation of students will benefit from this high quality modern and convenient accommodation, which has been built to the very latest acoustic and accessibility standards. Each student will be able to access the University computer network from their en suite study bedroom, and have access to library facilities on Campus 24hrs a day.

“As a new kind of innovative university UWE is committed to making the connection between the world of knowledge and the world of work. Along with the University's excellent network of contacts with employers and the relevant research carried out at Bristol UWE, the new development will help the next generation of students make the most of their time at university.

“The development will also enable the University to further its conference facilities, and provide excellent facilities for business and organisations. The new sports hall will enable us to increase the support we give to our sports activities.

Sir Howard continued, “Students living here will have the best of all worlds – living close to the academic heart of the university in modern rooms with the latest facilities and benefiting from the excellent new sports facilities on Campus.”

In the new development six students will share a kitchen and dining room with each individual study bedroom having its own en suite facilities. All study bedrooms are connected to the University's computer network and the acoustic standards are designed to meet the very latest Building Regulations. Wheelchair access is available to all floors and all flats, while there are also 24 fully accessible flats with the option to create more if necessary. This project is one of the highest quality new student accommodation schemes in the UK.

The University has already taken conference bookings for 2007 and has received numerous enquiries about the new facilities.

-ENDS-

Editors notes:

• When: Arrive by 12.30pm on 23 January 2006 for Topping out Ceremony at 12.40pm, at Brecon Court, (Courtyard 1) of the new student village. This will be followed by an opportunity for photos and interviews. There will also be an opportunity to view the new student bedrooms and flats in Brecon Court.

• Where: Guests will be escorted from R Block Atrium (at 12.30) on Frenchay Campus to the site of the topping out ceremony at the new student village. (Park in Car park 9, this will be signposted on Campus. For maps and directions see: http://www.uwe.ac.uk/aboutUWE/campus/

• Please confirm attendance with the Press Office.

Background information

1. Construction began in January 2005 and is scheduled for completion in the summer of 2006. The first students will move in for the start of the new academic year 2006/2007. The cost of the project is £80 million.

2. The scheme is of a very high standard, with 1,936 en suite study bedrooms in a series of buildings set around leafy courtyards. The scheme meets all the latest accessibility standards and has an excellent ratio of six flats to each shared kitchen and lounge area.

3. The construction project has also been used as a valuable learning tool for students from construction, planning and architecture courses at colleges in the region and at the University through regular site visits, research projects and special events.

4. The key features of the new accommodation are:

Convenient – en suite – all student bedrooms are en suite
Secure - 24 hr Security – Accommodation around private secure courtyards with secure access to buildings
Modern living – fully equipped kitchen and lounge area with breakfast bar, soft seating, full length window. Two fridge freezers, two ovens, microwave
Connected – all student bedrooms are on-line, with 24hr high speed broadband access and linked to the UWE network. Each room also has a TV/FM point
Light – all student rooms are East or West Facing
Transport – links to all other campuses with regular city centre Bus services and weekend transport
Community living – opportunities for barbeques in each courtyard, fitness and recreation centre, organised intra-mural sports and social events
Accessible – all buildings are fully accessible with lifts and adapted accommodation
24/7 – Library access, catering and security services on Campus 24 hours a day

In addition each building will have laundry facilities, a shared courtyard, a cycle store and recycling centre. Landscaping around the buildings will create leafy courtyards and pedestrianised areas.

Sports Hall:
Main hall - catering for basketball, volleyball, five-a-side football, trampolining, indoor hockey, netball and cricket;
Aerobics studio;
State-of-the-art multi-fitness suite;
Two glass-backed squash courts;
Indoor and outdoor changing facilities
Physiology lab for testing and monitoring performance of elite and club level athletes.

5. The main contractor is Carillion plc, who are responsible for construction and design using the Building Design Partnership (BDP), and the project is managed by Capita Symonds.

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