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Building a better campus: University of Bristol unveils plans for the future

The Fry Building, on the corner of University Road and Woodland Road, which is being renovated and remodelled to provide a new home for the School of Mathematics. It was formerly home to the School of Biological Sciences.

How the outside of The Fry Building will look once work is complete.

How the southern extension to the building will look.

Press release issued: 28 September 2015

As thousands of students return to the city for the new academic year, the University of Bristol has announced the next stage of its £525 million capital investment programme. It has spent over £150 million in the past three years to create outstanding new facilities to benefit students, as well as staff and visitors.

The next phase of the 10 year plan, from 2010 to 2020, includes a £31 million refurbishment of a Grade 2 listed building on the corner of University Road and Woodland Road to create a new home for its School of Mathematics.

The University is also spending £13 million on an extension to the Queen's Building, which houses part of the Faculty of Engineering, and £8 million on plans to expand the School of Law by renovating space in a Grade 2/2* listed property in Berkeley Square.

And it announced earlier this month that work is underway on a £12 million project to transform Beacon House, the former Habitat building on the Triangle, into a student hub.

The latest announcement comes as 22,000 students start the new academic year, including 5,000 new undergraduates and 3,000 postgraduates.

Many of the new projects stem from student feedback and the need for additional study spaces, plus the desire to ensure research facilities remain among the best in the world.

Professor Guy Orpen, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bristol, said: “Continued investment in all our facilities, both for students and academics, is vital if we are to remain one of the UK’s best universities and continue to compete with the world’s great universities. Being a university in the centre of a city, and owning many historic buildings, brings its own challenges but we’ve got a strong track record of working with planners and architects to ensure successful and popular projects.

“Our successful expansion has meant that even more top students are coming to Bristol. The refurbishment of libraries, creation of new study spaces and teaching facilities and improvement to accommodation are all key priorities to ensure all our students have the best possible learning environment and experience while studying here.”

Key projects over the past three years include the £30 million refurbishment of the Richmond Building, home of the University of Bristol’s Students’ Union (Bristol SU); a £25 million project to create 330 new student bed spaces at Hiatt Baker Hall in Stoke Bishop, together with a new public transport hub for student bus and coach services; and the completion of the £56 million Life Sciences Building and public realm project to create new open space at the heart of the campus.

The emphasis has been on improving the student experience, with investment in everything from sports facilities to record levels being spent on new books.

Further information

More information on upcoming projects:

The Fry Building. A major renovation and remodelling of the Grade 2 listed building on the corner of University Road and Woodland Road to provide a new home for the School of Mathematics. It was formerly home to the School of Biological Sciences, which has moved to the new Life Sciences building. Maths is currently located across several sites and needs to come together in a way that allows scope for expansion and improvement of the student experience. The project is currently at tender stage, with a proposed opening in Spring 2017. Total investment is £31 million.

Extension to the Queen's Building. A proposed extension to the Queen's Building, which houses part of the Faculty of Engineering. This will allow for growth in undergraduate and postgraduate student numbers. Interserve has been appointed as preferred contractor and planning consent has been granted. The target opening date is Spring 2017 and will cost around £13 million.

Beacon House, formerly Habitat on the Triangle, will be a flagship new facility containing 350 additional study spaces, a cafe and a large reception space for students and visitors to the University. A £12 million refurbishment project is underway and due to be completed in Spring 2016.

8/10 Berkeley Square. Renovation of a grade 2/2* listed building to create a new centre and facilities for our growing School of Law. This project has achieved listed building consent and is currently at tender stage. Scheduled to open at the start of 2017 and cost £8 million.

The Grace Reeves Study Centre on University Road will provide a new learning hub for 120 students. This is due for completion this month at a cost of £750,000.

Combe Dingle Sports Centre. A £3.5 million investment in additional student sports facilities, synthetic sports pitches, changing facilities and tennis courts. Design work is under way and current plans are to complete work by the end of 2016.

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