Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Evolving Campus Plays Key Role in Town's Revival

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Evolving Campus Plays Key Role in Town's Revival

Article excerpt

The vision of a vibrant, largely pedestrianised, university campus stretching from the new gateway facing Albert Road and Middlesbrough town centre right through to the rejuvenated Albert Park has taken a major step forward.

The main entrance to the University of Teesside from Borough Road and Albert Road has already been transformed by attractive hard and soft landscaping of King Edward's Square and the impressive new entrance.

And over the summer vacation, the university reverberated to the sound of pneumatic drills and heavy earth moving equipment as the campus underwent further transformation through a series of environmental improvements.

This included traffic calming measures at the busy Southfield Road student crossing between the Dickens Inn and the Learning Resource Centre and the part pedestrianisation of Victoria Road beside the Olympia centre for sport.

A University Square was also created between the Clarendon Building and the back of the Waterhouse Building.

According to the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Graham Henderson, the square will be the first of a series of social meeting areas to be created along a campus boulevard that will snake its way through the university from the Gateway to Albert Park.

"We want to create a safer and more environmentally pleasing campus and make the university more welcoming and accessible to both the local community and to those from further afield.

"The Mayor of Middlesbrough and his colleagues are right behind us because they understand that by raising the profile of the campus, we can raise the profile of Middlesbrough as a university town," said Professor Henderson.

Alongside the external environmental improvements there has been major investment in new teaching, research and recreational facilities. In total, over pounds 4m has been spent on campus improvements over the last year.

Major projects included completing the Olympia Building, which the Prime Minister described as 'tremendous' when he officially opened the new centre for sporting excellence earlier this year.

A further pounds 700,000 is being spent on equipping new science laboratories on the eight and ninth floor of the university's multi-storey building and providing new equipment to support research work into nanotechnology. This will support the university's expanding work in forensic science, microbiology and the regional food centre.

Another major investment saw pounds 800,000 spent on further renovations to the old Victoria Road school building, which was earmarked for demolition three years ago.

The building was then listed and has undergone a new lease of life and provides a home to the New Technology Institute (NTI) Initiative and the graduate business start scheme, Upgrade2.

In just two years, the 110-year-old former primary school building has been completely renovated to provide 24 flexible business incubator units, each complete with modern lighting and communication facilities, for the ever-expanding number of new companies being established by university graduates on the campus. …

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