Stirling student experience set for £21m transformation

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Artist's impression of exterior of Campus Central redevelopment

A £21 million plan to transform the University of Stirling student experience was unveiled today.

The Campus Central project is one of the University’s biggest infrastructure investments since its foundation, designed with input from the Students’ Union, staff and local stakeholders.

Map of bus arrival routes, and pedestrian routes from bus stops

Map of bus arrival routes, and pedestrian routes from bus stops.

Professor Gerry McCormac, University Principal and Vice-Chancellor, said: “The transformation of the centre of our campus is one of the University’s key ambitions to support the achievement of our strategic aims in learning, teaching and research.

“It will enable us to significantly enhance the Stirling student experience and to deliver facilities commensurate with our ambitions to be one of the top 25 universities in the UK.”

Partnership

University of Stirling Students’ Union President, Astrid Smallenbroek, said: “The Students’ Union is excited by the University’s plans to transform the heart of the campus, to further enhance the student experience.

“We are working in partnership with the University on this project and particularly welcome further improvements to the University’s student support service facilities, and that Stirling students will benefit from new study and social learning spaces.”

Campus Central will:

  • Enhance our commitment to delivering an exceptional student experience, including new study and learning spaces – and enhanced student support facilities
  • Create vibrant learning and research collaboration spaces
  • Establish a new gateway to the Macrobert Arts Centre, enhancing existing connections with students, staff and the local community
  • Offer an improved retail and catering experience to better serve the University’s diverse, global community of staff, students and visitors
  • Enhance the visual appeal of the campus, maximising the impact of the natural surroundings

The Campus Central development is expected to begin in early 2019, and be completed around September 2020. It will see the refurbishment of the existing Atrium, creation of a three-storey new building, and a re-landscaped, traffic-free Queen’s Court.

The project will see a new entrance and central welcome area for the Andrew Miller Building, with retail, catering, events space and student support services facilities. It will also feature expanded and enhanced meeting and social learning and study space at the Atrium.

The Queen’s Court ground-floor level will provide the gateway to the Macrobert Arts Centre, student support services, meeting and multi-purpose learning spaces. The upper second-floor will house an interdisciplinary, collaborative research space and the Graduate School.

More than 3,000m2 of additional floor space will be created to meet the needs of the growing University community, as well as circa 2,500m2 of refurbished Atrium space. The development will improve connections between the loch-side entrance, residences, teaching zone, Students’ Union, Macrobert Arts Centre, Queen’s Court and Cottrell Building.

Improved

Stakeholder workshops and consultations with students, staff, and other users have taken place and will be ongoing to inform the development of the detailed design and layout.

Campus Central also encompasses changes to the transport flow in and around the campus, including the introduction of a new and improved transport hub, minor changes to car parking and new bus routes through the campus.

Map of bus departure routes, and pedestrian routes from bus stops

Map of bus departure routes, and pedestrian routes from bus stops.

The works on these transportation changes will begin in mid-May and are expected to be completed in September 2018.

On completion of the main Campus Central building works, the Queen’s Court will be fully transformed into a pedestrianised zone, with the exception of access for emergency and service vehicles.

Transport plans

To facilitate long-term improvements to the University’s facilities, a pedestrian zone will be created in the Queen’s Court area, and will require some essential changes to traffic flow on campus. Buses will be re-routed to a new and improved transport hub providing bus travellers with close access to the Logie Entrance to Cottrell teaching space, Stirling Court Hotel and the University of Stirling INTO Building.

Through the staff and student consultation, it was clear that it was vital to maintain a bus route through the campus, to best serve commuters from the Hillfoots and Clackmannanshire areas. In response to this feedback, a new through-bus route will be created from the transport hub, through part of the current South Car Park, and then on via the Innovation Park road and out onto the Hillfoots Road.

The changes will result in the re-positioning of some car parking; however, there will be no reduction in the overall number of campus car parking spaces available to drivers, as these will be provisioned in a new car parking area added to the South Car Park.

The new plans allow for three arrival bus stops into the campus. These will be located at the main entrance to campus - providing access to the Pathfoot Building, outside the Gannochy Sports Centre, and at the new transport hub, which is located close to the Logie Lecture Theatre.

There will be two departure points, which will positioned within the transport hub and at the Pathfoot stop.

The University is committed to providing a fully accessible campus for all our staff, students and visitors. All the plans for the new transport hub, and access to and from all the bus stops, have considered accessibility to the campus, and comply with the Equality Act 2010.

An increased number of disabled parking bays will also be located close to the Macrobert Arts Centre, to allow for safe and easy access to the Centre and the Andrew Miller Building for drivers with disabilities.

The transportation design was developed through stakeholder engagement. A series of consultation workshops were held with staff and students, and these will continue through the next stages of this project.

The University has also consulted, and is in regular discussion with, local bus companies, to ensure the changes meet with their requirements.

The planning application has already been approved by Stirling Council and it is intended that work on the transportation project will commence next month, and be completed and available for use in September 2018, in time for the new semester.

Media enquiries to Lachlan Mackinnon, Communications Manager, on 01786 466 687 or lachlan.mackinnon@stir.ac.uk