The Students' Union redevelopment officially opens
It’s a been a major overhaul of an unusual 50 year-old building, conducted by architects Shepheard Epstein Hunter and construction company Morgan Sindall plc. The result has already garnered praise - Leicester Civic Society have recently awarded the Percy Gee Building their 2010 Award for Architecture complementing the Historic Built Environment of the City of Leicester.
Staff and students have had plenty of opportunity to get to know the new building in its unfinished state and will probably appreciate the impressive new facilities in there. But to get an idea of the sweeping changes we’ve made, let’s have a run-down of some of the highlights of the redevelopment:
- It has a stunning new central atrium bathed in natural light and incorporating a social meeting place, a literal ‘living room’ for the campus complete with sofas.
- There’s a new terrace with panoramic views over the City.
- An Activities Resources Centre for student socities.
- A new restaurant called ‘1923’ after the year the Students’ Union was founded.
- Three new live music and club venues, from the 1,750 capacity O2 Academy, to O2 Academy2 Leicester (500 capacity) and O2 Academy3 (for 250 patrons).
- A host of state-of-the-art environmental features including rainwater harvesting, a biomass boiler and passive ventilation systems.
- There are new shops and improved Accommodation Agency, Welfare Advice Service and Education Unit services among a host of other facilities.
Today, the building will be officially opened by current president of the National Union of Students Aaron Porter, who during his time as an Academic Affairs Sabbatical Officer of Leicester’s Students’ Union was involved with the project at its inception. Alongside the opening will be the unveiling of Touching Pair by sculptor Deirdre Hubbard, who also has long links with the University, both as an honorary graduate and as a regular contributor to our Annual Sculpture Exhibition.