The University has now been handed the keys to its new teaching and learning building by Bedfordshire based contractor Kier Construction.
The Gateway, a three-storey building set at the entrance to the Bedford campus, will offer the University’s students a whole range of facilities. These include high quality teaching spaces, informal learning spaces, and lecture theatres (including a Harvard style lecture theatre); as well as a new student services centre.
Dr Sally Bentley, Dean of Education and Sport at the University’s Bedford campus said: “It was fantastic to get the keys to the Gateway today. It marks the culmination of a huge investment in facilities at the campus for our students.
“As well as being the gateway to the campus, this new building will be a gateway to learning for the University’s students.”
Work started on the Gateway in October 2013, with the building scheduled to receive its first students in January 2015. With state-of-the-art technology to support learning, the Gateway will also provide a welcoming environment, with an informal learning area and cafe style coffee shop planned for the ground floor.
The Gateway is part of the University’s wider ‘greening of the campus’ initiative and includes a number of sustainable and low carbon technologies. The project team are currently aiming towards a BREEAM rating of ‘excellent’.
“Now we have the keys, our task is to get the building ready for the students,” said Dr Bentley. “The flooring and furnishings are going in with a grand opening planned in January.
“I am delighted that we are continuing to invest in state-of-the-art student-centred facilities, to enhance students learning and provide an outstanding and fulfilling student experience here in Bedford.”
As well as the new teaching and learning building, the redevelopment of the Bedford Campus includes: a national standard 300 seat capacity sports arena, and an all-weather, multi-use Astro Turf games area. A new fitness centre is also planned to open in February 2015.
Pictured are (left to right): Andy Hawkins, Design Manager Kier Construction, Dr Sally Bentley, Dean of Education and Sport University of Bedfordshire and Sev Cataldo, Contracts Manager, Kier Construction.