Stepnell starts work on student hub for University of Nottingham



Work is under way on the first phase of a major project to create a new hub for student life at The University of Nottingham.

Stepnell is undertaking the remodelling and refurbishment of part of the ground floor of the University’s Portland Building, delivering a £687,000 scheme which will transform the Students’ Union current night club and bar area known as ‘The Den’ into a new activity space.

Designed by Nottingham-based CPMG Architects, the plans have been developed by the Students’ Union and the University and are based on extensive research and feedback from the student community. The new activity space is designed for socialising, performing and meeting and includes a new performance space with a stage, sound and light system, a retractable seating area and improved and relocated cloakrooms.

Stepnell will strip out existing fixtures and fittings, comprehensively remodel the existing layout, replace and upgrade the mechanical and electrical services installations and carry out a full refurbishment and redecoration of the interior. Externally, our construction team will install new windows making the space lighter inside and create a new external terrace.

Construction work on the activity space is set for completion in September 2015, ready for it to open this autumn.

Stepnell operations and commercial manager Thomas Sewell says: “It’s great to be drawing on our extensive experience of delivering high-quality refurbishment and construction projects for the further education sector to create this vibrant new centre for student life. As a company with a local base in the city, we’re particularly excited to be working on our first project with The University of Nottingham.”

Current Stepnell higher education sector projects include the construction of a £1.5 million new gallery and courtyard for the University of Leicester at the Richard Attenborough Centre, the University’s inclusive arts centre. Stepnell is also transforming a former sports centre at De Montfort University Leicester into a state-of-the-art conference and events venue. The company has also worked extensively with the Oxford colleges and independent schools and is currently undertaking a major scheme to refurbish and extend the New Library at Magdalen College, Oxford, which is on programme to complete in early 2016.

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