A £41m university building in Birmingham has taken a major step forward as the finishing touches have been made to the development.
Contractor BAM and local stakeholders were joined by staff and students from Birmingham City University at the institution’s new Health Sciences and Education building to mark the traditional topping out ceremony and celebrate a key milestone in the delivery of the facility.
The 10,500 m² extension on Westbourne Road in Edgbaston forms part of the university’s City South campus. Set to open in 2018, it will also enable relocation of the university’s School of Education, consolidating the Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences onto one site.
Designed by architects Sheppard Robson, the building will help reinforce Birmingham City University’s claimed status as “the region’s largest provider of qualified health and social care professionals to the NHS and producer of more teachers than any other institute in the West Midlands.”
The space will offer teacher training and specialist facilities for health sciences including provision for research, a new lecture theatre, a multi-purpose hall, speech therapy, physiotherapy and ultrasound suites, art and technology classrooms and IT hubs.
Speaking at the topping out ceremony, Professor Graham Upton, vice-chancellor of Birmingham City University said:
“Today marks an exciting new chapter in the university’s long and proud history. Not only will this new building allow us to strengthen our existing education teaching and research programmes, we will also be offering a wide range of new health, nutrition and biomedical science courses.”
“The new building also strengthens our student experience and university community by allowing us to house our health and education offerings on one site for the first time. In doing so, we are creating a significant hub for our public service contracts and professional development provision in Edgbaston, offering more consistent support services and facilities for both students and staff.”
The building forms part of the university’s £260m investment into new state-of-the-art facilities, which will be strengthened with the opening of the new £57m Birmingham Conservatoire later this year.