Two years of building and development work have culminated in a newly refurbished Gilbert Murray Hall at the University of Leicester, which will benefit not only students but residential conference clients.
The programme's final phase, which cost £2.6 million and was carried out by Hallam Contracts, was completed on time and within budget.
The development has been carried out in three phases, starting with the conversion of Wistow and Withcote to house 50 ensuite bedrooms, continuing with the addition of a new bar, refurbished junior common room and extra disabled toilets for Gilbert Murray Hall, and ending with the upgrade of 144 bedrooms in Stoughton Leys and the Modern Blocks and 20 ensuite rooms at Clivedon House.
As well as a greater degree of comfort for residents, the new accommodation has been fitted with energy-saving devices in line with the University's policy on environmental issues.
Students have described the changes as "amazing" and "brilliant", while some claimed to have worked all summer to be able to return to the comfort of Clivedon.
Benefits for conference clients include a bar which can be privately hired, enabling delegates to maximise their networking; extended and enhanced exhibition space in the common room; greater facility of movement around the complex; exclusive ensuite accommodation for VIPs; superior bedrooms for delegates, close to the conference suite; an ISDN line in the conference area which allows for a cyber café to be set up; and additional seminar space.
Conference Sales and Marketing Manager Rebecca Myatt said: "We continually need to drive forward the quality of our meeting and accommodation facilities to meet ever changing customer expectations. The newly improved facilities at Gilbert Murray have already helped to attract new business and have been greatly appreciated by regular conference users."
Richard Green, the University's Surveyor, said: "The six individual contracts were quite complex, including bringing the buildings up to current fire standards as well as refurbishing the rooms. There were of course time restraints where the work was being carried out within the Study Bedroom areas with the work having to be completed during the summer vacations. The Estates Office is particularly grateful to Hallam Contracts who were able to complete what would normally have been around 18 weeks’ work within the 13 weeks allowed."
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