Teesside University’s £21.4m student residence block has opened its doors in time for the new academic year, despite the challenges caused by coronavirus.
The Cornell Quarter development, part of the university’s ambitious and ongoing campus masterplan, has welcomed its first occupants.
Wates Construction started work on Cornell Quarter in April 2019 and were able to meet the planned timescale amidst additional pressures caused by the impact of Covid-19.
From the inception of the development, student health and wellbeing has been at the heart of the design, with all residents having access to a gym, laundry room, lounge, office space and movie room.
In line with current advice and guidance, the university has put systems in place to manage access to shared spaces, along with enhanced cleaning regimes and clear one-way-signage. In addition, not all the 300 en-suite rooms arranged across 48 cluster apartments are currently occupied, with households limited to just five students.
Cornell Quarter was designed to create a sustainable environment and has achieved a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating. In addition, sedums and grasses have been planted to create a ‘green roof’ covering to help increase biodiversity and create a better environment. A proportion of rooms have also been designed for students with special mobility needs.
Professor Paul Croney, vice-chancellor and chief executive of Teesside University, said: “I am delighted to see Cornell Quarter complete in time for the new academic year – especially under such difficult circumstances. It is another excellent accommodation facility within our portfolio and will provide exceptional on-campus living.
“The completion of Cornell Quarter reinforces our commitment to provide the very best student and learning experience and is part of our ambitious programme of investment which continues to completely transform the campus.”
Malcolm Page, chief operating officer at the university, added: “Cornell Quarter provides a first-class facility for students at the heart of the campus environment. Although things are a little different for students this year, I am delighted to see our first occupants moving in and able to enjoy this brand-new facility from the beginning of the academic year.
“We have been pleased to once again work in partnership with Wates and applaud the dedication, commitment and professionalism shown to get Cornell Quarter complete on time”.
Throughout construction of Cornell Quarter, Wates continued to deliver on its pledge to provide training and engagement opportunities for the local community, including welcoming school children onto site to get a closer look at how a building takes shape. In addition, Wates offset any carbon produced during construction with a local tree planting scheme.
David Wingfield, business unit director for Wates Construction North East & Yorkshire, said: “Following our work on the National Horizons Centre we were privileged to be appointed to deliver another prestigious project via the Scape Framework.
“In less than two years our talented teams onsite, in collaboration with the university, have delivered an exceptional space for students to enjoy ahead of schedule. In the spirit of education and as part of our investment into the local community, we have offered 17 educational visits and workshops, created 20 new jobs and welcomed four apprentices on site during the build. It’s simply superb to see it completed for the new intake.”
Cornell Quarter is the latest development to be completed as part of Teesside University’s campus masterplan, which will see £300m invested up to 2026 to help create a university campus to rival any in the sector. Projects already complete include the new Student Life Building and the National Horizons Centre in Darlington.