WORK is under way on a new £16million university business school.
Existing Durham University premises, in Mill Hill Lane on the southern outskirts of Durham City, will be refurbished and extended.
The first sod has been cut on the development, which will bring the school’s 100 academic staff – currently spread over four sites – into one place.
About 2,500 students are enrolled at any one time, although not all are based in Durham.
Money for the development is coming from the school’s income from student fees and the training of business executives.
“This has been a long time in the planning,” said the school’s Dean, Professor Rob Dixon.
“We are building a world-class business school and it needs a world-class facility from which to operate.
“There will be social and meeting spaces as well as class-leading teaching facilities.”
The project involves refurbishing the main teaching block to create four lecture theatres, and building more offices and catering and social areas, including a restaurant and lounge with roof terrace.
Glass will feature heavily in the new building which is to have a glazed entrance, and a curved, structurally glazed walkway to link two courtyards.
The use of solar energy and a ground source heat pump will limit the building’s carbon footprint.
All work is being done by Miller Construction.
“This is our fourth contract for Durham University,” said Miller’s regional managing director Ian Jubb.
“The positive relationship we have created is resulting in wonderful learning environments which will assist the university in its delivery of outstanding education.”
The project is due to be completed by August of next year.