The first phase of DMU’s campus redevelopment is close to completion after work began in December.
The demolition of both the old students union and the old ceramics block have been completed and DSM Demolition LTD, the company in charge of the demolition, have moved onto the Fletcher building low-rise. This may have an effect on students and staff on campus, as the noise levels will increase due to the breaking out of concrete slabs and foundations.
The demolition work has meant that students who would usually use the Fletcher building have had to be relocated, some of which have been moved as far as the city centre side of New Walk. Despite the inconvenience this could have caused, the De Montfort University website has reported that students are happy with the studio workspaces that they have been provided with. The website states that students feel the new teaching spaces seem ‘bigger, brighter and packed with more of the tools they need to complete their degrees’.
Laura Dickinson, a first year fashion design student, said that she felt De Montfort has ‘so many facilities’ and that she really liked the new sewing rooms, housed in the Heritage house, as ‘the whole place feels less cluttered’.
The new creative centre and design hub, built adjacent to the Fletcher tower, is due to be completed and open in 2016, along with the new look Fletcher building itself, including new food court areas.
The projected £90 Million redevelopment also includes a surround of parkland, the positioning of which can be seen in a fly-through video on the University’s website. The parkland will improve the student and staff experience on campus, creating more areas for them to have lunch and work in the natural environment.
The University intends for the new Fletcher complex to help the DMU campus become one of the finest city centre campuses in the country and the intention is to make De Montfort a more attractive university for prospective students in the next few years.
This is aimed at dealing with the increasingly competitive university environment, which has been extended due to the government cap on student numbers being lifted. Chancellor George Osborne announced in December that the cap on student numbers will be increased to 30,000 from September 2014 and will be dropped all together in 2015.
With the number of students enrolled at De Montfort set to rise over the coming years, the University hopes the developments will help it to be better equipped to offer them the best campus and study areas on offer.
The complete development scheme, which has been ongoing for the last 10 years, has so far seen the building of both the Hugh Aston building, home of the Business and Law school, and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Leisure Centre. Other buildings have also been redeveloped in a scheme which has so far cost £200 million, a figure which could rise to £300 million after the completion of the Fletcher building redevelopment.