Students´ Union officially opens after £5 million revamp

21 October 2010 20:13 - Royal BAM Group nv

(Press release The University of Sheffield:) Sheffield, 11 October 2010 - The newly refurbished University of Sheffield´s Students’ Union was officially opened on Friday (8 October 2010), following a £5 million facelift.

The award-winning Students’ Union, which employs over 900 people and offers more than 200 sports clubs and societies, was filled with students past and present, alumni donors and a host of special guests, as Professor Keith Burnett, Vice-Chancellor of the University, and the President of the Students´ Union Joshua Forstenzer, unveiled a plaque in celebration of the newly refurbished building.

Guests were given the chance to tour the new Students´ Union, which received funds from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) to renovate the heart of its current facilities, as well as create new ones.

The Students’ Union, which is a major factor in attracting students to Sheffield, now features an activity and sport zone for students to exhibit and perform their work and a striking new entrance and double height atrium space, linking up a number of areas that were previously disjointed, including the Students´ Union and University House on Level 4.

Facilities have also been improved, with the building now featuring a larger Students’ Union shop and new eateries, such as the Fancie cupcake stall, all of which are available for members of the local community to take advantage of, in addition to students and staff.

Guests at the celebration event were able to talk to former and current Students´ Union Officers and view photographs of the Students’ Union over the years, before toasting the new and improved building.
Construction work on the building began in November 2009 and the new revamp is one of several investments made to the building over the years. The Students’ Union, which was voted the Best Students’ Union in Britain by the Virgin Alternative Guide, has constantly been reinventing itself and rebuilding since the construction of the Graves building in 1936, which now houses the Interval Café Bar. The last major rebuild was in the early 1990s which added facilities like a 400-seat lecture theatre/cinema, informal study space, meeting rooms and catering facilities.

Students' Union President, Joshua Forstenzer said: ‘I am thrilled to be the first President to lead this organisation in such a wonderful new building. I am very grateful to the University for their commitment to the student experience, illustrated by their funding of this landmark new space for students. Much in line with the reinvention of our building, we are constantly reinventing ourselves to truly represent the changing nature of our student population.’

Professor Keith Burnett, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Sheffield, said: ‘The new refurbishment of our award-winning Students’ Union is a demonstration of the University´s commitment to providing our students with the very best facilities, to ensure they have a first-class University experience. The Students’ Union is an invaluable resource for both students and staff and with even more top-class facilities to suit our diverse student body, I am sure the Students´ Union will retain its position as one of the best in the country.’

BAM were awarded the construction contract for the Students’ Union rebuild. This is the same company who are responsible for the University’s Information Commons and the current construction work on the Arts Tower.