Uni starts £8.6m library refurb

Styles&Wood has been appointed to carry out the £8.6m refurbishment of Lancaster University's Library, designed by Sheppard Robson.

The renovation project, due to complete in January 2016, will, Styles&Wood said, regenerate the Library in line with Lancaster University's status as a top 20 UK university, according to newspaper league tables.

Mark Swindlehurst, director of facilities at the university, said: "Extensive consultation with the academic community at Lancaster generated remarkably consistent feedback that users valued their Library as a unique, serious academic study space.

"There had been a strong emphasis on sustainable innovation and it was the University's commitment to the environment and to a sustainable future which inspired the approach towards redesigning the original 1960s' building."

The contractor's projects division will complete strip-out and refurbishment works to the buildings East and West wings on a phased basis. This will allow the ongoing use of the library, which is located in the university's main campus and is a central resource for its 12,000 students.

There will be a new atrium created from the existing courtyard, new furniture and fixtures, mechanical and electrical upgrades and the reconfiguration of the building's stairs and lifts.

Paul Lonsdale, operations director at Styles&Wood, said: "This is a significant win for Styles&Wood in a key growth sector for many of the group's service lines, including our design, energy and projects divisions. In the past two years revenue generated from the education sector has risen from £1.5m to £23m, as we've developed a strong portfolio of quality reference projects. This, combined with our expertise in working in live, occupied environments, means we're in a solid position to secure future projects as institutions continue to review their property estates."

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