The first phase of the project will see Seddon build two brand new accommodation blocks at Barnes hall of residence at the centre of the University’s 600 acre campus. The development project will see 453 en-suite bedrooms built across the two blocks, with the facility ready for the 2017/18 term.
• The new blocks will include large open-plan social spaces, kitchens, dining and lounge areas, a laundry room and a dedicated halls management centre.
• Each living area will also benefit from double width and height windows to offer panoramic views across the rural campus.
• The new halls will be built to the latest building regulations, providing high levels of thermal and energy efficiency, and also achieving a BREEAM Excellent rating.
The project got underway with the sod cutting on 10th August. Once work is complete, Seddon will redevelop the former Hawthorns hall of residence in Keele village, with the redundant site making way for 83 new homes for sale.
Jonathan Seddon, Seddon Construction’s managing director, said: “This major project builds on what has already been a good year for Seddon in the Midlands and, more importantly, on work we have delivered for our long-standing partner, Keele University over many years.
“As a local, family business, it’s important that we spend as much as we can in the surrounding area, so the more materials, labour and sub-contractor packages we can source locally the better. Not only is it good common sense, but it’s reinvesting the University’s money into the local community.
“In addition, we’ll be able to continue employing and training lots of people from the region and, as a National Skills Academy, this project will enable us to take on 10 new apprentices from the local area.”
Phil Butters, Director of Estates and Development at Keele University, added: “As a leading university, we want to continue to offer students a breadth of choice and availability of accommodation, not least for new students but also returning students each year, who benefit from our sector-leading student experience, through living and studying on Keele’s campus.
“Our accommodation enhancement and expansion project is not just about providing what our students need now, but to help us cater for students’ needs over the coming years, which requires us to provide the facilities and services expected of a leading international campus-based university.”
The regeneration programme is the latest in a series of projects Seddon has worked on with Keele University. The firm is due to complete IC5, a £5.3m industrial and office building, later this year as part of the University’s Science and Innovation Park improvements. Seddon has built the shell and core of the IC5 building, along with three separate wings and associated external hard and soft landscaping.
In 2012, Seddon completed a £1m project to extend an existing lecture theatre and provide a new 95 seat lecture room for the Darwin Management School. Prior to this, the firm was involved in a £1.5m refurbishment project to upgrade the earth and space observatory.