Doors open on £5 million refurbishment project to enhance student facilities
The University of Wolverhampton has officially opened the doors to an extensive refurbishment project that has seen £5 million invested in new facilities for students studying for digital arts, media production and pharmacy courses.
The project, which has transformed spaces in two of its key teaching buildings at the University’s City Campus in Wolverhampton, was undertaken by national fit-out and refurbishment specialist contractor, Willmott Dixon Interiors.
The Wulfruna Building has been revamped to offer larger, multipurpose teaching spaces for use by students studying in the university’s School of Pharmacy. Improvements to facilities include an extension of the existing practice suite offering a flexible working space for students. A new dispensary has been created alongside a new study area for Postgraduate students and counselling rooms for the development of clinical and counselling skills. There are also two new meeting rooms and a new reception area as well as a new multi-purpose flexible teaching space which will be able to accommodate up to 120 students.
The new Wolverhampton Screen School has been transformed to create state-of-the-art teaching facilities and equipment with the aim of boosting skills in the digital arts and media industries.
Students will benefit from a new production space, an equipment media store, a video studio with movable partitions and a large multipurpose studio. There are also new Mac labs, edit suites, staff offices and a production base room.
The new industry standard facilities include a green-screen, three-camera TV studio with an adjoining production gallery. There is also a new radio studio which reflects the layout of BBC local stations. News readers have access to a second bulletin studio and the technical kit and software will enable the replication of the workflows of national news journalists and the running orders of professional news programmes.
The core courses taught at the Wolverhampton Screen School are animation, computer games design, film and television production, multimedia journalism, computer science, cyber psychology alongside proposals for a new course in visual effects.
Aaron Prior, Third Year Multimedia Journalism student, said: “The new facilities are great. It was really exciting seeing it all coming together. For me, the radio studio is particularly exciting because that’s an area I really want to go into when I finish the course and having industry standard equipment that you might see in a BBC Radio or commercial radio studio is going to be really beneficial for us.”
Professor Ian Campbell, Interim Vice-Chancellor at the University, said: “We are delighted with the refurbishment of our School of Pharmacy and the creation of our brand-new Screen School at the University. Our focus is always on creating an excellent student experience that provides our graduates with the skills they need to thrive in the world of work. These new facilities will enable our students to collaborate and learn using the latest industry standard technology and resources, and we would like to thank everyone involved in this project for their hard work.
Phil Crowther, regional director at Willmott Dixon Interiors, said: “We’re very pleased to have handed over a modern, comfortable and safe environment at the University of Wolverhampton, with new finishes, layouts and furnishings throughout. We hope that it will benefit staff and students alike for many years to come. We’re thankful to our excellent team, including our extended network of specialist contractors, for successfully delivering what was a challenging fast-track build programme in a large site, spread across three floors and two occupied buildings.”
The refurbishment of the Wulfruna Building and Alan Turing Building was awarded via the Pagabo refit and refurbishment procurement framework.
The project team included Faithful+Gould as project manager and professional quantity surveyor; architect and principal designer, Glancy Nicholls Architects; and structural engineer, CWA. Temporary works were undertaken by CWA and Bridges Pound.
Anyone looking to study at the University of Wolverhampton should register for one of our forthcoming Open Days.
From left to right: Matt Weston (Stone's Throw Media), Simon Heath (Creative Director & CEO World Productions), Professor Ian Campbell (Interim Vice-Chancellor at University), Robin Gray (Create Central Board Member), Reuben Wilde (Third Year Computer Games Design student), Professor Clare Schofield (Director of the University of Business School) and Dr Pritpal Sembi (Deputy Head of School - Media).
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