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News £40m Staffordshire University flagship a blueprint for campus transformation

A new £40m building, which will provide a regional hub for apprenticeships and digital skills aims to provide a digital experience for all.

The Catalyst for a digital future at Staffordshire University
Image: The Catalyst for a digital future at Staffordshire University

This development will completely transform our Connected University and will offer a variety of high-tech spaces for apprentices, students, staff and local employers. Specialist digital technologies are incorporated throughout the design of the building ensuring that our University community can work and learn in cutting-edge environments geared around a digital world.

Martin Jones, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Staffordshire University

The Catalyst, a landmark 8,800 sqm building, which will be home to more than 6,500 Apprenticeships and the Staffordshire Business School, will feature innovative teaching and learning spaces, a flexible events space and new catering provisions.

Construction has continued throughout lockdown with the majority of exterior and glazing now complete. The internal fitting out of the building is set to follow in the next phase of works.

Digital technology and accessibility will also be embedded across the building making it the most connected facility on campus. Alongside wireless casting and online room booking systems, The Catalyst will feature Blue Dot Wayfinding

These integrated technologies aim to support the overall digital building experience, enabling all visitors to quickly find their destination within the facility using an app. The University plans to use The Catalyst as a digital blueprint for future transformation projects on its Stoke-on-Trent, Stafford, and London campuses.

Back in December 2020, a socially distanced event celebrated the highest point of construction being reached at The Catalyst, a four-storey digitally driven facility that will benefit staff, students, and the wider local community.

The topping-out ceremony was led by Sally McGill, Chief Financial Officer and Deputy Chief Executive Officer at Staffordshire University, who was joined by representatives from Mace, VINCI Construction UK and Staffordshire University Students’ Union.

Martin Jones, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Staffordshire University said, “We’re delighted to have reached this exciting project milestone for The Catalyst building.

“This development will completely transform our Connected University and will offer a variety of high-tech spaces for apprentices, students, staff and local employers.

“Specialist digital technologies are incorporated throughout the design of the building ensuring that our University community can work and learn in cutting-edge environments geared around a digital world.”

“We look forward to seeing work continue to progress on what will be the blueprint for future campus transformation projects at the University.”

Michael Roadnight, Midlands Regional Director of VINCI Construction UK Ltd said, “As Principal Contractor for The Catalyst building, VINCI was excited to achieve the topping out of the new building in December 2020. The Project Team has excelled in reaching key project milestones when considering the socially distanced environment that we are all working in. We are now looking forward to completing this state of the art project for Staffordshire University to the highest quality”

Unjulee Karadia, Associate Director at Mace added, “It’s exciting to see the new structure emerge from the ground as construction continues to pave the way for a flagship campus building at Staffordshire University.”

“Our team has demonstrated resilience during the pandemic and progressed the delivery of The Catalyst building with continued work from the designers, contractors and University stakeholders to shape the new facility and create the University’s vision for the project.”

The Catalyst building is expected to be complete in Autumn 2021. For more information please visit: https://www.staffs.ac.uk/go/catalyst

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