ISG has been awarded a £12 million project to redevelop the former University for the Creative Arts building in Maidstone. The comprehensive internal and external refurbishment will create state-of-the-art teaching facilities for MidKent College as part of its enlarged Maidstone campus. This follows recent investment of more than £100 million by the Further and Higher Education College in its core property infrastructure.
Acquired in 2012, the former University for the Creative Arts building will enable MidKent College to further extend its higher education offer and enhance provision and capacity at its Maidstone campus.
ISG will completely transform the external appearance of the now dated building, installing timber cladding to six elevations to complement the existing main campus facility. The building will be re-roofed with a new high-performance membrane system and a key focus for the project sees ISG significantly enhance the thermal performance of the structure which will maximise energy efficiency and reduce energy costs.
Internally, ISG will carry out extensive remodelling of the existing accommodation, reconfiguring the space to create high-specification teaching areas, laboratories and break out areas. Advanced construction and engineering workshops will be created, alongside art studios and a creative media suite. There will also be training kitchens and a restaurant and bar area. All mechanical and electrical systems will be stripped out and replaced with modern services. This major retrofit exercise includes the installation of a sustainable biomass boiler and an energy efficient LED lighting system operated via an advanced building management system.
ISG will install acoustic flooring within all classroom areas and new floor, ceiling and wall finishes throughout the building. The contractor will source and install all fixtures, furniture and equipment, including the provision of interactive whiteboards in teaching areas.
Externally, ISG will create a new car park with bicycle shelters in front of the new building, working sensitively around an extensive tree preservation zone to protect the mature trees that surround the site.
MidKent College chief executive Stephen Grix said: “ISG’s record of delivering high quality results around the world speaks for itself, and we are confident they will meet our high expectations for this exciting project.
“Having recently invested more than £100 million in our Medway and Maidstone campuses, it was only natural that the centre for higher-level skills would be next to benefit. We are dedicated to providing a realistic alternative to university and are confident the courses taught at the centre will help provide the advanced skills many employers are looking for.”
Alan McCarthy-Wyper, managing director of ISG’s Construction business, commented: “I’m delighted that ISG provided a compelling case to successfully translate MidKent College’s vision for these new state-of-the-art teaching facilities. Our strong sector-specific credentials and major project capability proved important factors in our appointment and we are now working closely with the college to deliver the latest phase in the Maidstone campus redevelopment.”