The £60m city centre site, set to open to students in September, will now undergo a major interior fit-out programme in readiness for Leeds City College’s School of Creative Arts and School of Social Science, Higher Education Centre and Leeds College of Music.
The new nine-storey development also includes a performance studio, dance and rehearsal spaces, specialist sound equipment, TV studios, digital arts and animation facilities, a simulated practical care suite and nutrition training kitchen. The facilities have been carefully developed to meet the academic and vocational training specialisms of each of the individual schools.
Louise Sheridan, Project Director for Ellis Williams Architects, said: ‘We are delighted the college’s forward-thinking vision for its flagship Quarry Hill home is now a reality.
“The building is testament to the highly collaborative approach taken by the client, end users including staff and students, Wates Construction, Leeds City Council and the wider design team. We are immensely proud that the campus sets design standards for the future development of Quarry Hill and acts as a significant catalyst for its further regeneration.”
Contractor Wates Construction completion of the flagship education building brings to a close over 100 weeks of construction work, which has seen the team collectively spend 750,000 working hours on site.
Wates engaged local supply chain partners at Quarry Hill, with 89% of project contracts awarded to suppliers within 25 miles of the project and £110,000 spent with social enterprises. And the company helped to create Eco Bricks with a local charity by supplying non-recyclable plastic from the site.
The completed structure comprises:
- A total of 7,700 tonnes of concrete, equating to 1,300 African elephants;
- A total volume of 3,130m3 of concrete, enough to fill an Olympic swimming pool;
- 7,605 metres of glazing units, 76 times the height of Big Ben;
- A single theatre beam of 250 tonnes, the weight of 1½ blue whales;
- A total of 7,305 metres of glass, 2.7 times the length of the Golden Gate bridge.
David Wingfield, Business Unit Director at Wates Construction NE & Yorkshire, said: “Our completion of the new Quarry Hill Campus brings to fruition an extremely successful project. To have delivered this technically challenging structure in a tight city centre footprint and with so much benefit brought to the local community is a fantastic achievement.
“During our work on site we have had 260 people within our team during peak periods and our impeccable record of site health and safety shows the high standards we have maintained. This, along with the exceptional development we now hand over to Leeds City College, makes myself and the team very proud.”
Mike Diaz, Director of Capital Projects at the Luminate Education Group of which Leeds City College is part of, said: “This project has been a fantastic journey for us to date, and working with the team at Wates to deliver the building on time has been incredibly fulfilling.
“We have an ambition to create inspiring learning spaces and the Quarry Hill Campus exemplifies this aim. Our students will be in a state-of-the-art campus, in the heart of the cultural quarter and we’re proud to be playing a major role in regenerating the wider Quarry Hill area.”
The campus received £33.4m from the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP), delivered in partnership with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, through the Leeds City Region Growth Deal – a £1 billion plus package of Government investment to accelerate growth and create jobs across Leeds City Region.
Speaking about the investment, Roger Marsh, Chairman of the LEP, said: “Young people hold the keys to the success of our future economy and that is why we’re investing £79m from our Growth Deal funding in further education facilities throughout the Leeds City Region.
“It’s vital that we equip our young people with the skills they’ll need to succeed in the jobs of the future and I’m delighted to see the Quarry Hill campus one step closer to welcoming students through its doors in September.”