Manchester College Openshaw 1

Manchester College starts hunt for campus contractor

Charlie Schouten

The college is looking to appoint a contractor for its £10m overhaul of its Openshaw campus, part of a wider strategy which will see a new site opened at Manchester’s Boddington’s Brewery.

Designed by architect Reiach & Hall, the plans for Openshaw centre on building a four-storey sports and social care building, featuring a six-court sports hall, gym, exercise studio, strength and conditioning labs, and classrooms.

There will also be a floodlit artificial turf football pitch build at the site with spectator seating, along with a single-storey extension to the existing Whitworth House to act as teaching space for construction skills.

Existing buildings, including the Westlands Building, the Nursery Building, and a single-storey engineering workshop, are due to be cleared to make way for the new elements.

According to the architect, the existing facilities on the site. “do not meet modern teaching requirements”, with “inaccessible areas, poor-quality building fabric, and rooms and structural grids that are the wrong size for modern teaching spaces”. A planning application was submitted to Manchester City Council in June this year.

The project is expected to cost around £10m, with a contractor to be appointed on a single-stage design-and-build basis.

The move is part of a wider estates regeneration strategy which has seen a number of assets brought to market; the 39,000 sq ft St John’s building by Spinningfields is earmarked for redevelopment, as is the 97,000 sq ft Shena Simon campus just off Chorlton Street.

IBI was previously attached to bring plans for the Openshaw campus to RIBA stage two, alongside Waterman Group, before Reich & Hall was brought on board.

It will also relocate a number of its key functions to a central campus at the Boddington’s Brewery site, where a £45m, 215,000 sq ft education facility will be built. Place North West revealed in April that Willmott Dixon had beaten four other contractors to the first phase of the job, where SimpsonHaugh is architect.

The professional team on the Openshaw campus also includes BDP, Hoare Lea, Scott Hughes Design, Rider Levett Bucknall, Pearson Fraser, Brookes Ecological, Orion Heritage, and SK Transport Planning.

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