BU’s new Student Centre reaches its highest point.

Posted on Friday, January 24 2014

Topping out ceremony

A topping out ceremony has marked a significant stage in the construction of Bournemouth University’s new state-of-the-art Student Centre.

Construction has now reached the highest point of the six-storey, £10.5 million building’s structure, which be a focal point for students at BU, providing additional space for learning and student support, and a new home to the Students’ Union at BU (SUBU).

The ceremony, which took place at the Talbot Campus, was led by Neal Stephens, the managing director of Willmott Dixon – the constructors of the Student Centre.

Also attending were Councillor Phillip Eades the Mayor of Poole, Rt. Hon. the Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, the University’s Chancellor, Sue Sutherland OBE the chair of the Bournemouth University board, Professor John Vinney, Vice-Chancellor of Bournemouth University, among other partners, dignitaries, staff and students.

Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers said at the ceremony: “This building is going to be the centre of students’ extra-curricular activities. These are an essential part of the education in its widest sense that any good university should provide for its students. Education is not just about acquiring knowledge. It involves learning about oneself, developing as a caring person, and integrating responsibly in society. A building such as this provides the ideal environment for the activities and interrelationship that will result in students leaving this university educated in this wider sense.”

Professor John Vinney, the Vice-Chancellor of the University, said: “We are committed to providing world-class facilities for our students and the Student Centre will provide just that.

“It’s vital we continue to attract high-calibre students and staff for years to come in an increasingly competitive market. We want to provide world-class facilities for a world-class performance.

“The Student Centre, and our plans for a new academic building, will go a long way to achieving that and we are very excited about the progress we are making.

“The University contributes £378 million every year to the regional economy through all our activities.

“This will only be maintained and grow whilst students continue to choose to study at Bournemouth and investing in facilities such as this new Student Centre is central to this.”

Neal Stephens, managing director of Willmott Dixon in south West, said: “We’re delighted to have been selected to carry out this project and it’s fantastic to see this outstanding structure reach its highest point.

“Willmott Dixon is already a major contributor to the local economy and we are delighted to be working on the biggest project in the area. We have established a great relationship with Bournemouth University and are fortunate that our client shares our environmental and sustainable approach.

“We are focused on delivering great quality facilities and have worked hard to be as cost effective and sustainable as possible. In particular, we’ve sunk boreholes into the ground to extract heat, which will save a considerable amount of money on heating in the future. In addition we have also diverted 99.7% of waste from landfill”.

The progress of the Student Centre comes as Bournemouth University also prepares to submit a planning application for a new flagship academic building at the heart of its Talbot Campus.

The Student Centre building has achieved a BREEAM excellent classification in its design stage and is due for completion during November 2014.

Its two-year construction is bringing a direct spend of £6 million into the local economy.

Willmott Dixon has also been awarded the contract to build a new performing arts centre and supporting classrooms at Bournemouth & Poole College.