Work begins on Liverpool Hope Science building

Students and staff from Liverpool Hope University joined contractors and the Lord Mayor of Liverpool Councillor Erica Kemp to break ground on the new £8.5 million Science building.

The firms involved in the construction of the new facilities include the building contractor GRAHAM Construction, architects Watson Batty, structural engineers Clancy Consulting and mechanical and electrical engineers Steven A Hunt & Associates.

The building will feature specialised lab spaces that are dedicated to genomics, cell biology, nutrition, and psychology as well as sport and exercise spaces and laboratories.

These will include a 25 metre sprint track for force meters and motion capture technology for biomechanical analysis, as well as a blood sampling phlebotics laboratory, and treadmills and BODPODs for physiological analysis. There will also be a double height robotics suite and an engineering laboratory to help construct and test drone technology.

The psychology laboratories will be furnished with motor control capture and vision and colour labs, in addition to cognitive and neuro-behaviour suites, with space for research synergies between psychology and sports.

The first floor will comprise nutrition labs (with food analysis and testing facilities) two large bioscience and environmental science labs, and a suite of dedicated research laboratories for studying molecular biology, microbiology, cell biology, nutrition, molecular genetics, tissue culture, and bioinformatics.

The current science structures will be demolished to make room for the new building, designed to complement the more tradiational architecture of the campus and the Grade II-listed Hilda Constance Allen building; amongst the original founding college buildings of the university. The aim is for the building to be certified BREEAM “Very good” to confirm the university’s commitment to environmentally considerate and sustainable building design.

Vice-chancellor and rector of Liverpool Hope University, Professor Gerald Pillay, said:

“We have a long term commitment to STEM subjects, and this building is a major part of that. The department of Mathematics and Computer Science recently designed tools to teach mathematics, geometry and graphical content to visually impaired children, and is also about to start research that could impact on the speed and cost of Internet searches and downloads.

“Our Sports Science department is working with the other Universities in Liverpool to select and train an athlete to ride the ARION1 bike at the 2015 World Speed Trial in Nevada. We are producing cutting edge research and we hope that the new building will allow us to produce even more.

“Our vision is to create an inspiring and stimulating space for students and research staff, where they will be able to carry out all of their work under one roof, with a strong emphasis on collaboration. Much of the interior will be glazed, so that students will see activity and research taking place all the time.”

Professor Atulya Nagar, Dean of Science at Liverpool Hope University added:

“We have a commitment to producing global citizens whose work makes a positive impact on the world around us. The new building will provide our students with the very best start to their science careers and give them the tools to pursue their own research. We also hope that it will attract even more world-leading research staff, allowing us to make an even greater impact on businesses, technology, public services and communities across the region, the UK and the world.”

Lord Mayor of Liverpool Cllr Erica Kemp, who attended one of the University’s founding colleges, said:

“As a former student of Christ’s College I am delighted to see the many wonderful changes that have taken place over the years. I wish Liverpool Hope and the students every success for the future.”

Gary Hughes, regional director at GRAHAM Construction, said:

“Liverpool Hope University is an innovative and forward-thinking institution and this new building will be a state-of-the-art centre for exciting scientific studies.

“The university recognised the quality, vision and ability of GRAHAM to deliver – to be playing a key part in this development is of great pride and we look forward to working in collaboration with the university and our project partners.

“This is a key win which further enhances our reputation and construction portfolio as we continue to grow across the North of England.”

GRAHAM Construction is a specialist in the higher education sector, operating across the country; with clients including University of Manchester, University of Salford, Sheffield Hallam University and University of Edinburgh.


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Words: Peter Cribley

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