By Joshua Hurn
Durham’s new £40 million Teaching and Learning Centre is now open in the city’s Lower Mountjoy area. As part of the 2017-2027 Durham University Strategy, the centre will offer a range of new teaching and study facilities such as an education laboratory.
The new centre, according to Dr Tony Fawcett, the project’s Operational Manager, “has been designed for state-of-the-art student learning”.
With its premium conference facilities, the Centre is reportedly set to boost the economy of the North-East by up to £2 million.
The University has now released floor plans of the project, which show two large lecture theatres.
The building has utilised an ‘eco-conscious’ design method, including insect-friendly plants and the placement of native tree and shrub species.
Pedestrian access from nearby colleges and main roads has also been improved.
In total, 499 jobs were created by the project, of which 32 are full- time.
Jane Robinson, former Chief Operating Officer for the University, previously expressed the institution’s need “to ensure that its excellent reputation for research, education and the student experience is matched by a high-quality estate”.
In addition to the new Centre, the £700 million ten-year plan also includes proposals for a new £70 million Business School at Elvet Waterside.
The project comes in the shad- ow of increasing criticism of the University’s efforts to match rapid expansion with adequate invest- ment across other facilities, in- cluding library space and medical care.
Dr Fawcett expressed his excitement that the “academic staff and students will be able to collaborate seamlessly across all digital devices”.
He also expressed great enthusiasm about the Education laboratory. It is designed to allow the staff “to try out innovative ideas” before implementing them.
Photo Credit: Durham University