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Appointment Drives Forward New Belfast Students' Union

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The development of a new multi-million pound Students' Union at Queen's University Belfast has taken a major step forward with the appointment of a Newry-based building contractor.

Felix O'Hare will build the new centre on the site of the original facility, due to be completed in the 2021/2022 academic year.

The project has been designed as a two stage construction process- firstly to assist the university in the development of design and technical proposals, before moving towards construction of the Students' Union.

Situated directly across from the main Lanyon Building on University Road, the Students' Union now caters for around 24,000 students of the university. Following an earlier major refurbishment in 2005, the facility will be rebuilt into a world-class centre to meet the evolving needs of students.

The Union was moved last August to two temporary venues- SU Elmwood and The Speakesy to facilitate the demolishing and reconstruction of the updated space.

The finished model will support student life with a generous open and flexible entrance space, informal learning zones, club rooms, supporting offices, a multi-purpose hall, Students' Union bar, catering and retail outlets.

A design statement from RRP Architects Hawkins/Brown said: "The building is part of a long-term vision to develop top end facilities across the university that are truly world class, in particular, to create an emotional heart of Queen's and a symbol of the ambition that this university has for every student.

"Students want to be enriched with a full programme of academic, co-curricular and extra-curricular activities and services that will enable them to be the best graduate possible and gain quality employment opportunities."

Felix O'Hare & Co has already been involved with major Queen's University projects, including building the new School of Law, a development which forms a key part of the university's £350m investment to transform the campus into world-class facilities for staff and pupils.


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