Tom Keighley

Member Article

£57m St Helens College regeneration completed

Interserve have handed over a new bespoke building for St Helens College in Merseyside, in the city centre next to the listed Beecham factory building.

The £57m regeneration project was designed by Ellis Williams Architects, and took the form of two build phases totalling 17,500 sq metres.

The two buildings consist of three and four floors, housing world-class training facilities and resources that provide students with contemporary learning environments.

Town Centre Campus buildings were completed nine weeks ahead of schedule and within the budget allocations for the project.

Working in collaboration with the college and design team, a value engineering exercise was undertaken, and as a result, £2.3m of savings were made from the initial project cost.

A number of innovations were introduced to the design to achieve these savings, including a steel frame rather than concrete, developing innovations in planning and site management, and design development initiatives, which improved buildability and ensured programme certainty.

Dr Jette Burford, Principal of St Helens College, said: “We have delivered what we set out to deliver. The scheme has come in on time and within budget.

“I think you only achieve these sorts of results when working with an experienced contractor like Interserve, who understands the limitations that we are working under, and can work with us.

“If we are going to create facilities about which we can be truly proud, it has to be more than just being the cheapest building for the cheapest price, it has to be about value in the fullest sense.

“Yes, this does mean value for money, but it also means value in terms of quality, and absolute attention to detail, and a real focus on the end user. The students and the staff will benefit greatly from this college. All of this was achieved from working with Interserve.

“Interserve employed 10 apprentices during the scheme, which was very important to us from the outset. Another advantage of working with the company is that Interserve not only identified the challenges that inevitably come with a £57 million building scheme, but they brought solutions.

“It is this intelligent approach that was key to completing the scheme on time and within budget. It’s not been a conventional client/contractor arrangement. Interserve people are our colleagues: they are part of our team and we have approached everything together.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Tom Keighley .

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