Edge Hill University is set to add another innovative and sustainable building to its award-winning campus to further improve facilities for staff and students.

Exciting plans to create ‘The Hub’ were given the green light by planners from West Lancashire Borough Council last month, which will effectively create a one-stop shop for all student needs and will benefit the local community.

Construction work has already begun on site with the demolition of the  previous boiler house and some service buildings to make room for the stunning new building.

With its glass walls, large open spaces and unusual elliptical shape, the new facility will be inspirational as well as functional. Housing a number of Edge Hill’s student services, retail and dining areas in one place for the first time, the new building will mark the central point between the modern western campus and the iconic, 1930s Main Building.

The Hub will fundamentally redevelop and enhance the existing  Main Building and will incorporate  the Terrace café and Sages restaurant, opening up kitchen and seating capacity for both. The ground floor will also feature high street-style retail outlets chosen to meet students’ needs and preferences. Upstairs there will be brand new accommodation for the Students’ Union, including dedicated space for societies and student groups, and offices for other student support teams.

“The Hub is the keystone in the development of the campus,” said David Oldham, Director of Capital Developments for the University, “as it is literally in the middle of the site and also sits at the centre of our overall ‘masterplan’ for long-term capital investment. It also shows our ongoing commitment to making Edge Hill a leading university of choice by 2015. “

“If we want to continue to attract large numbers of students, we have to ensure the student experience is as good as it can be, particularly in a future education environment dominated by increased expectations of our students.” 

The building will also demonstrate Edge Hill’s proven commitment to sustainable development. It will be thermally efficient with a design that promotes natural light and ventilation .  Energy will be recycled, for example from cooking areas, to be re-used throughout the building.

As well as creating a visually exciting focal point for the University, The Hub will also help to improve the flow of foot  traffic around the campus. It’s orientation  will provide the future  main entrance to the existing building , in accordance with the University’s masterplan which envisages an East/West transition across the Ormskirk campus.

“The Hub  marks the beginning of the next phase of the University’s investment in it’s long term campus plan”, says David . “The Hub will be the gateway to development on the eastern side of the campus, where we aim to create state-of-the-art sporting facilities for our students, staff and the local community to enjoy.”

Work on The Hub  is expected to be completed by September 2011.