University campus scales new heights

IPSWICH: The dawn of a new era has come at University Campus Suffolk as education bosses unveiled their second phase of development on the Ipswich Waterfront.

The next stage of progress at the Waterfront campus will see a new academic building open offering students state-of-the-art facilities including a range of scientific laboratories.

As well as the teaching space, students will be able to enjoy a new ground-floor cafe and students’ union, run by the students at the building 300 metres south of the flagship Waterfront building.

To celebrate the completion of the highest point of the new building staff at UCS, representatives from the architects and builders climbed up seven floors, enjoying the panoramic views of Ipswich in the glorious sunshine, to perform the topping-out ceremony yesterday

The tradition, which goes back hundreds of years, was performed by Sarah Meelan, director of human resources and in charge of campus development at UCS, five weeks ahead of schedule.

She said: “It has been a fantastic achievement on so many levels. Not only do we have a new building being built with the support of public funding, we are part of the continuing development of Ipswich’s Waterfront. It is just amazing to see the changes in recent years.

“The students are really excited about the developments. It is vital for Suffolk to provide high-quality education. It not only draws people in from outside the area but encourages people in Suffolk to aspire to take on further education.”

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Mrs Meelan said that, despite the future development being clouded in uncertainty as public spending comes under pressure, they are confident of achieving the next two stages of plans at the Waterfront campus.

The new academic building will open to students in January 2011, with the new student accommodation due to open in June.