Aston University’s new residences project got off to a flying start after its chancellor, Sir Michael Bett, and vice-chancellor Prof Julia King, took part in a sod-cutting ceremony on the city centre campus.
The Aston Student Village will see the regeneration of the university’s student accommodation as part of the ‘Aston Triangle’ masterplan. It is scheduled for completion by 2014.
The development, which is being backed by Bank of Scotland’s corporate housing finance team, will see 2,400 new student rooms built on campus, with most of Aston’s existing student residences being replaced as part of the scheme.
There will eventually be more than 3,000 en-suite student bedrooms on campus, enabling the university to continue to offer high quality accommodation to all first years and international students, and to increase the number of rooms available to final-year students, who often find it valuable to live back on campus during their last year of study.
The development, which will also include shops, sports facilities and an underground car park, is designed to be environmentally sustainable, with the residential blocks using the latest energy-efficient materials and systems.
They will also benefit from green roofs, wind turbines and rainwater recycling.
Sir Michael Bett said: “The scale and nature of this project is testament to the ambition of the university. I am very pleased that the months of planning and negotiations are at an end and I am looking forward to the completion of the project when our students will benefit from some of the very best facilities at any university in the UK.”
Prof King added: “Student satisfaction is hugely important to us, and the new ‘village’ will provide them with a great place to live, right in the centre of an exciting city. This is a critical development for Aston, as part of our strategy to develop the campus as a 21st century physical and information environment, supporting our core mission of learning and teaching, research, and community engagement.”
The £57 million first phase will see Carillion plc build two residential blocks on the south side of campus.
The blocks will provide 1,300 high-specification, en-suite bedrooms, as well as an all-weather sports pitch, 240 car parking spaces and the relocation of chaplaincy facilities.
Phase II will see the removal of Aston University’s 60s residential towers and the construction of two new, modern blocks to the west of campus which will provide a further 1,100 en-suite rooms.