UCLan breaks ground on £8.15m social spaces scheme

A ceremonial ‘ground breaking’ event has marked the construction phase of the University of Central Lancashire’s £8.15m social spaces project.

Uclan social spaces breaking groundThe new facilities will improve the campus experience and provide a place for staff and students to come together in a relaxed environment while incorporating areas for break out activities and informal spaces for social learning.

Preston-based Conlon Construction is on site delivering the scheme, which is due for completion in autumn 2017 and is part of the university’s £200m Masterplan proposals.

Representatives from UCLan and Conlon Construction gathered to celebrate the first official ‘spade in the ground’, commencing the building work.

Conlon has already started groundworks for the Greenbank and Harrington site, where it excavated approximately 700m³ of material and laid 60m³ of new concrete, as well as laying the new foundations. The construction firm will now prepare the site for the concrete floor slab and the steelwork structure.

Meanwhile at the Foster site, which is the larger of the two social spaces, Conlon has completed a piling process which saw 90 concrete piles used to provide a solid base for foundation work. Across both sites approximately 150 tonnes of steel will be used to form the structures.

David Taylor, pro-chancellor and chair of the UCLan Board, said: “Through our Masterplan vision the university is fully committed to providing outstanding facilities for students and it won’t be long until we start to see these new buildings taking shape. We are creating two exciting and inspiring social hubs which will respond flexibly to the changing needs of both students and staff.”

Michael Conlon, chairman at Conlon Construction, added: “The University is in the heart of Preston city centre and attracts many talented students to the area which in return brings so much into the local economy. As a Preston-based construction company we’re always keen to get involved with projects that make our city an even better place to live, work and study.” The social spaces project has been designed by multi-award winning architecture practice AHR and is part of UCLan’s Masterplan to strengthen and enhance the University as it develops through the creation of a world-class campus.