The development builds on the London 2012 Olympic legacy, containing an impressive sports hall built to Sport England standards, a 100-station fitness suite and a dance studio, all around a central 30ft climbing wall.
The building was created as part of a joint venture with University Partnerships Programme (UPP), designed by Nottingham-based architects Church Lukas and constructed by Vinci Construction UK.
Lord Coe praised the “phenomenal” facilities as he declared the building in Shakespeare Street officially open.
He said: “Placing such a high quality sports and fitness offering right at the heart of the Students’ Union building not only works to support the training of athletes studying at university but is also a fantastic way of encouraging more young people to try sports.”
Vice-Chancellor Professor Neil Gorman took Lord Coe on a tour of the new building, accompanied by Chancellor Sir Michael Parkinson CBE, Director of Sports and Lifestyle James Hayter, President of Nottingham Trent Students’ Union Jo Southwell-Sander and Chief Financial and Operations Officer Stephen Jackson.
Professor Gorman said: “The Students’ Union building is an exciting and vibrant addition to the regeneration of our estate which has already seen the £135m redevelopment of the city site including the signature University’s Newton and Arkwright buildings.”
Above the three storeys of leisure and sport space at the new building are a further four residential blocks. It also incorporates a 2,400 capacity night venue, a modern retail unit, spacious offices and meeting rooms for Nottingham Trent Students’ Union and a radio studio. Under-floor heating, smart windows, which open and close automatically and lights which turn off when no-one is in the room all help contribute to the building’s green credentials.
Miss Southwell-Sander said: “Students have been involved throughout the development of the building from the outset which has allowed their ideas to now resonate throughout this impressive building. It has been exciting to see students embrace the new Students’ Union and to hear the sound of clubs using the sports hall, to see students meet in our café and to be able to offer a diverse range of services from this lively hub.”
Sean O’Shea, Chief Executive of UPP said: “I’m delighted that UPP’s partnership with Nottingham Trent University has resulted in one of the best Student Union buildings in the country. UPP aim to continually raise the bar for the student experience and are committed to providing the best facilities possible. Working closely with Nottingham Trent University, we have delivered high quality, affordable student accommodation and Students’ Union space in a sector-leading combination.”
Lord Coe’s visit comes just days before he is due to take on comedian John Bishop as team captain in the Clash of the Titans event at London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in aid of the Sport Relief. The fundraising weekend was set up through Comic Relief, the charity of which incoming Nottingham Trent University chancellor Kevin Cahill is chief executive. Mr Cahill will take up his post at the university in July.