Interserve Press Office | May 28, 2012
Interserve, the international support services and construction group, has handed over a bespoke new building for St Helens College in Merseyside, which forms a landmark structure for the city centre next to its high profile, listed Beecham factory building.
As part of the area’s regeneration programme, the project, with a total value of £57 million, was designed by Ellis Williams Architects, and took the form of two build phases totalling 17,500 square metres. The two buildings consist of three and four floors, housing world-class training facilities and resources that provide students with contemporary learning environments. The mechanical and engineering elements of the project were delivered by SPIE Matthew Hall.
The Town Centre Campus buildings were completed nine weeks ahead of schedule and within the budget allocation for the project. The ambitious redevelopment was completed in two phases, with phase one opening in September 2009. The second phase of the project has now opened its doors and accommodates facilities for the teaching of sport, health, social care, hairdressing, beauty and spa therapy.
It was critical that the project provided value for money in order to secure funding from the Learning and Skills Council. Working in collaboration with the college and design team, a value engineering exercise was undertaken and as a result, £2.3 million of savings were made from the initial project cost. In order to reduce the predicted build costs, a number of innovations were introduced to the design. These included using a steel frame rather than concrete; developing innovations in planning and site management; and design development initiatives, which improved buildability and ensured programme certainty.
The new building provides stimulating, well equipped learning environments. Light and airy study areas combine with safe and secure user friendly environments. Students are able to learn and work in settings which offer real experience of a broad variety of working environments, thereby giving them a distinct advantage when the time comes for them to seek employment. The impressive new college offers ‘breakout spaces’ that are furnished for the students to relax and work in, with full Wi-Fi connectivity. These spaces make optimum use of natural lighting, producing a contemporary environment.
Dr Jette Burford, Principal of St Helens College, comments:
“We have delivered what we set out to deliver. The scheme has come in on time and within budget. I think you only achieve these sorts of results when working with an experienced contractor like Interserve, who understands the limitations that we are working under, and can work with us.
“If we are going to create facilities about which we can be truly proud, it has to be more than just being the cheapest building for the cheapest price, it has to be about value in the fullest sense. Yes, this does mean value for money, but it also means value in terms of quality, and absolute attention to detail, and a real focus on the end user. The students and the staff will benefit greatly from this college. All of this was achieved from working with Interserve.
“Interserve employed 10 apprentices during the scheme, which was very important to us from the outset. Another advantage of working with the company is that Interserve not only identified the challenges that inevitably come with a £57 million building scheme, but they brought solutions. It is this intelligent approach that was key to completing the scheme on time and within budget. It’s not been a conventional client/contractor arrangement. Interserve people are our colleagues: they are part of our team and we have approached everything together.”
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Interserve's vision is to be the Trusted Partner of all our stakeholders. We are one of the world’s foremost support services and construction companies, operating in the public and private sectors in the UK and internationally. We offer advice, design, construction, equipment and facilities management services for society's infrastructure. Interserve is based in the UK and is listed in the FTSE 250 index. We have gross revenue of £2.3 billion and a workforce of over 50,000 people worldwide.
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