THE newest building at Edge Hill College of Higher Education was officially opened on Friday (26 October) – and named in honour of former Chairman of the Edge Hill Board of Governors, Bob Wilson.

The Wilson Centre, on Edge Hill’s Ormskirk campus, cost £4.3million and is a focus for the subject areas of health studies and sports science. The Right Hon the Earl of Derby performed the official opening, which was attended by around 200 people.

Bob Wilson, of Liverpool, was a foundation Governor and former chairman of the Board of Governors at Edge Hill, from 1988 until 2000. Through his commitment, vision and energy, he made a substantial contribution to the development of Edge Hill.

As a plaque bearing Bob Wilson’s name was unveiled, he said: “I am quite overwhelmed by the thought that they have put my name on this building and that they have gone to such great lengths to give me such an honour. It has been a great privilege to work at Edge Hill in the past and I am greatly honoured to receive this particular accolade.”

Robert Bradshaw, current chairman of the board of governors, paid tribute to his predecessor. He said: “Without question, the vision and the leadership that has been shown by Bob has led to Edge Hill becoming a pre-eminent institution in the North West of England and in the UK, and certainly one that we can all be proud of.

“His vision, energy and commitment could not have been stronger. He built around him a team which had great expertise and he used the skills of each and every one of those people to the full to create what Edge Hill is today.

“It is 40 years since a building at Edge Hill was named after an individual and I can think of no greater tribute to the man that served as our chairman for 12 years.”

The building includes high quality teaching rooms, IT suites, a large lecture theatre and office accommodation. In addition, there are specialised laboratories for the study of sports psychology, physiology and biomechanics, and a spacious dance studio. The Centre for Health Research and Evaluation, the research arm of the School of Health Studies, is based in the building. It is also the location for a new student health centre and counselling suite, with a fully-equipped doctor’s surgery, sick bay and counselling rooms.

The building was designed by Liverpool-based architects Owen Ellis, who were also responsible for the Sporting Edge complex, the Learning Innovation Centre and the foyer of the Rose Theatre, all on the Ormskirk campus.

It has been designed on green principles to be low energy, and as environmentally-friendly as possible, making maximum use of natural light and with a natural air-flow ventilation system in teaching areas.