Construction firm Lendlease has won an £80 million contract to redevelop a former Royal Mail sorting office into a flagship building for Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU).
The new development will feature three libraries, study zones, IT suites and a central teaching unit at the Copperas Hill site.
Staff from Lendlease are already on site surveying the existing structure, in order to strip back its frame ahead of works getting underway in the summer.
Simon Gorski, executive general manager of UK regions for Lendlease, says: “We’re really pleased to be getting underway with our work at Copperas Hill, which has been described as a “transformational” investment for LJMU.
“The challenge of retaining the existing and very prominent structure and utilising it to create an iconic and inspirational multi-purpose facility is really exciting. We are delighted to be back in Liverpool.”
As part of the plans, two mezzanine floors will be added to the existing structure, and the roof designed to allow use for sports and recreation – increasing the total floor area of the building from its existing 280,000 sq ft to 355,500 sq ft.
The enabling work is due to complete in August, and Lendlease is hoping to commence the main construction works in the summer with a view to delivering a completed building in the first half of 2018.
Professor Nigel Weatherill, LJMU vice-chancellor, adds: “Sometimes the term ‘transformational’ is overused but the impact of the new development at Copperas Hill cannot be over-estimated.
“Importantly for LJMU it will revolutionise the student experience and the physical shape of the University but it will also have a highly positive effect on the city itself.”