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£400m University of York upgrade is unveiled
A TEN-YEAR, £400 million masterplan to revamp the University of York’s older campus has been unveiled.
The development is aimed at improving accommodation, teaching space and sports and study facilities at the Heslington West campus, which is now 50 years old. An extra £40 million could be devoted to IT and research equipment as work is carried out in stages.
The university’s recent focus has been on its new £750 million Heslington East campus, leading to claims Heslington West’s facilities have fallen behind and many need to be replaced or upgraded. In April, The Press reported that surveys had revealed much of the older campus had to be improved to meet modern student demands.
“Last year, the campus development steering group looked for the first time at comprehensive plans for the phased redevelopment of Heslington West,” said the university’s secretary and registrar David Duncan.
“These plans have been developed further over the summer and will now go forward for consideration by the senior management group and council. Our aim is to make the Heslington campus as a whole one of the best in the country for both student experience and research.”
Mr Duncan said the plans would include major new developments for science studies, new accommodation for all Heslington West students, a new teaching facility and a significant expansion of its library. He said modern accommodation for the natural and biomedical sciences courses, a new building for the environment department and more work on the chemistry complex were among the first priorities, with maths, physics and electronics next on the list.
Several Heslington West projects have been taking place over the summer, including improved teaching and research facilities at Alcuin College, a refurbishment of the B-Henry’s bar and restaurant and an overhaul of student accommodation in James College and Fairfax House.
University of York Students’ Union president Kallum Taylor said: “Some of the buildings on Heslington West should have been replaced 25 years ago and they’re a bit of an embarrassing quirk about the campus.
“We completely back the plans to restructure Heslington West before Heslington East leaves it behind, and will look to play a role in these plans.”
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