Millions of pounds committed to furthering University development

The University of Edinburgh has unveiled new plans to invest further in projects to upgrade its buildings and facilities.

Work is already underway to refurbish McEwan Hall, the university’s graduation hall, which, when completed, will include the addition of new visitor and conference facilities, and this month heralds the start of the final phase of the university’s Potterrow development with the construction of the Data Technology Institute.

In addition to the ongoing refurbishment of the School of Law at Old College, a new Law Library is set to be created, providing over 250 extra study spaces and computing facilities by 2018.

Many university societies have had to relocate while works takes place to upgrade The Pleasance, which will house an office for The Student, a studio for FreshAir, the student radio station, as well as a film studio and a resource centre. Dance societies will be able to benefit from the use of a refurbished Salisbury Building. Similar developments are due to take place at Potterrow.

The University of Edinburgh’s Estates Department has been working closely with the Edinburgh University Students’ Association (EUSA) to ensure that the works undertaken “meet the demand for social, study and society needs.”

At the King’s Buildings Campus, new study spaces for groups and individuals will be created at the Mary Bruck building and in the KB Centre. The redevelopment of the Darwin Building will act as the centre piece of the University’s ‘Building a New Biology’ project which aims to expand existing biological and healthcare research.

Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Edinburgh said, “I’m very pleased about the programme of new buildings and improvements planned, which will transform the estate into more efficient and inspiring spaces.

“This investment will significantly enrich the student experience and allow us to create a world-class teaching and learning environment which matches expectations and responds flexibly to changing student and staff needs.”

Garry Jebb, Director of Estates at the University of Edinburgh, told The Student, “Continued investment in our estate is vital to maintain our position as a world-leading university and create compelling co-designed learning spaces that will enhance the student experience.

Ben, a second year English Literature student, was particularly pleased to learn that four hundred new study spaces would be added to the University Library as part of the George Square development. He told The Student, “The study space in the library desperately needs updating. At the moment there just aren’t enough computers to cater for its students. Development will allow people to use its resources more easily and more effectively.”

Alongside the projects led by the University of Edinburgh, EUSA has announced a £0.5 million development plan to refurbish King’s Buildings House during the summer of 2016. Funding has been provided by the University of Edinburgh and students will be given the chance to influence plans through a forthcoming consultation.

EUSA Vice President of Services, Urte Macikene, said, “EUSA understands the need to improve student services and spaces at King’s Buildings – this was one of the key commitments on my manifesto when I stood for election. This improvement to KB House comes on top of our plans for a £22,000 spend on new equipment and refurbishment for the on-site gym – KB Fitness.”

“While we work with the University on long term plans for the redevelopment of the King’s Buildings Campus, the work taking place this summer will make a real improvement to the day to day experience of current students.”

Image credit: University of Edinburgh Estate Department

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