New construction jobs in York as work starts on student homes
Construction work has now started on York’s newest student halls of residence. It follows publication of the latest UCAS report which reveals that York St John University has seen the biggest increase in applications of any university in England.
S Harrison Developments Ltd has chosen national company Miller Construction as main contractor to build 258 student bedrooms on Carmelite Street, adjacent to Hungate. The £12 million scheme, which will see around 100 construction jobs created in the city, is scheduled to be completed in late summer next year, in time for York St John University students to move in for the Autumn term 2013. The high quality city-centre located accommodation is playing a key part in the expanding university’s growth strategy.
The new student halls scheme is the fourth contract awarded by the York-based developer to Miller Construction, three of them within the city walls. The two companies are currently working together to deliver the £32 million City of York HQ at West Offices and a new Hampton by Hilton hotel on Toft Green.
As well as creating much-needed construction jobs, the new halls on Carmelite Street will free up more traditional homes for rent by local York families in line with the council’s new policy.
Says Professor David Fleming, vice chancellor of York St John University: “Demand to study at York St John University is continuing to rise. This year we’ve seen an impressive 11.3% increase in undergraduate applications for our courses starting in September, during a period when overall university application are down 10% in England. We’ve invested a lot in the quality of our teaching and the campus environment. This latest student residential development is a part of the investment programme to ensure that future students enjoy the very best experience by choosing our university.”
The site had previously been designated for offices but despite marketing by the owners and their agents there had been no interest from office users. The site had become an increasing eyesore in recent years. By developing it, S Harrison hopes that it will help stimulate further regeneration in the area and kick-start the completion of the nearby Hungate site.
S Harrison’s two previous student developments in Walmgate have been heralded a great success with York St John University students integrating into the local community and providing an economic boost for local traders. Like the halls in Walmgate, the new accommodation on Carmelite Street will be car-free with students living within easy walking distance of all the city’s amenities. For its sustainability and energy usage it is set to achieve a BREEAM “very good” rating.
Says S Harrison project manager, Rich Smith: “This is an important development in a part of the city which is undergoing major regeneration. We have an excellent working relationship with Miller who have demonstrated their ability to deliver complex schemes on restricted city centre sites.”
Commenting on the latest development York St John University Students’ Union president, Adam McSkimming said: “Student feedback has been very positive about our Gray’s Wharf and Percy’s Lane accommodation so we’re really looking forward to having the new site ready for our 2013 students.”
Picture shows: David Chesser, Pro Vice Chancellor (Resources) York St John University and Colin Parkin, Director of Facilities, York St John University with representatives from S Harrison Development Ltd and Miller Construction.