Lancaster University

This is archived news from Lancaster University. You can find up-to-date stories in our current news section.

Student Rooms ‘Topped Out’

04/03/2006 12:08:30

Academic Registrar Mrs Marion McClintock, putting the last bolt in place at the new County College accommodation building.
Academic Registrar Mrs Marion McClintock, putting the last bolt in place at the new County College accommodation building.
Lancaster University held a traditional ‘topping out’ ceremony this week to mark a key stage in the development of accommodation for three colleges.

The current phase of Lancaster University’s residences programme has reached a significant point now all of the roof structures at Fylde, Furness and County Colleges are fully complete.

The most recent phase of building works was completed by the University in partnership with the University Partnerships Programme (UPP), who funded the development and will operate and maintain the new accommodation. The building contractor Norwest Holst is on track to deliver the first completed blocks four months ahead of the contract completion date.

Traditionally a topping out ceremony is held when a building reaches its highest point – for example when the last piece of roof structure is put in place.

On March 24, Academic Registrar Marion McClintock, one of the University’s longest serving members of staff, was invited to put the last ceremonial bolt in place at the new County College accommodation building. As part of the ceremony a branch from a yew tree was attached to the structure – a good luck tradition which dates back to Pagan times. Mrs McClintock then poured wine and oil over the branch and sprinkled it with salt and corn to wish the occupants of the new building luck and prosperity.

This is the third phase of Lancaster University’s residences programme - the largest university new accommodation project in the country - which will ultimately see the creation of a total of 3,385 new student rooms.

The first two phases of the residences programme have resulted in 2,338 new rooms shared between Cartmel, Lonsdale and Graduate Colleges. Phase three – which creates 1,047 new student rooms for Furness, County and Fylde Colleges – will be completed in summer ready for occupation by students in October for the start of the new academic year.

The residences programme provides new high quality student accommodation on campus including en-suite study rooms, studio apartments and shared social spaces in landscaped grounds.

Lancaster University Director of Estate Management Mark Swindlehurst said: "We are very pleased to be able to celebrate, with our partners UPP and Norwest Holst, the tremendous progress which has been made on the third phase of the Residences Project. We look forward to seeing students moving into their new high quality rooms at the start of the academic year.”

Chief Executive of UPP Clive Crawford said: “We have worked in partnership with Lancaster University for a number of years, and are delighted to see this project near completion. Given the funding issues facing the UK higher education sector, this scheme represents, we believe, a progressive solution enabling the University to transform its student residential estate.”

Mark Swindlehurst, Director of Estates (Lancaster University), Bob Giles (UPP), Vice-Chancellor, Professor Paul Wellings (Lancaster University), Marion McClintock Academic Registrar, (Lancaster University), Clive Crawford (UPP), Andrew Neal, Director of Finance and Resources (Lancaster University), Graham Cocking (Norwest Holst).

Chris Hamer, Regional Director, Norwest Holst Ltd, said: “We have worked successfully with Lancaster University for a number of years now and we are delighted to be involved in delivering Phase Three of the Student Residences Programme for UPP and the University. We look forward to continuing this successful partnership on future schemes.”