Reporter 423, 21 September 1998
The project to refurbish the Baines Wing which has been in the planning process for around two years, has now commenced on site, with a view to completion being achieved in June, 1999. The project, which is being carried out by Totty Construction, has an overall cost approaching £7.5M, part of which is being funded through income from the Regional Health Authority.
The main future user of the Baines Wing will be the School of Healthcare Studies, which is being re-located onto the University campus from a number of sites at local Leeds Hospitals. The School, which was integrated into the University on 1st April, 1996, will at last be able to join in campus life to the full, and this flagship refurbishment project will provide good quality accommodation with a pleasant ambience in the Baines Wing for over 200 staff and around 1400 fte students. The project also seeks to provide additional space for overcrowded arts departments, as well as enabling more accommodation to be released for the School of Computer Studies in the E C Stoner Building, by transferring some administrative activities into the Baines Wing. The Great Hall, which is immediately adjacent to the Baines Wing, benefits from the provision of kitchen facilities and the addition of a suite of good quality reception/interview rooms, which will widen the scope of events for which the Hall itself can be used.
The following accommodation will be provided in the Baines Wing:
- accommodation for the School of Healthcare Studies, including 20 state-of-the-art seminar rooms, plus the Victorian Miall Lecture Theatre; a dedicated computer cluster; and a common room/coffee bar area, which will look over an inner courtyard which was previously infilled by a variety of small buildings
- replacement offices/seminar rooms for the Teaching and Learning Support Unit (TLSU) and the Staff and Departmental Development Unit (SDDU) now accommodated in the E C Stoner Building
- space for the Central Filing Office (also now sited in the E C Stoner Building)
- accommodation for the Department of Fine Arts Art History activities, with the addition of a superb gallery area for displaying students work, or visiting collections
- extra offices and teaching rooms for the Department of Philosophy
- kitchen facilities for the Great Hall and a suite of reception/interview rooms
The project necessitated the displacement of degree ceremonies from the Great Hall this year to the Conference Auditorium, but work will be finished in time for the Hall to accommodate the 1999 degree ceremonies. The frontage of the Baines Wing will be essentially unaltered by the refurbishment programme, and all proposals for alterations within the building have required the approval not only of the Citys Planning Authorities, but also of English Heritage, due to the historic nature of the Baines Wing, it being one of the original Yorkshire College Buildings.
For the duration of the project, the Great Hall has been taken out of use, because of the disturbance arising from works in the Baines Wing. The Contractors main access route is down University Road, and the site huts on the lawn in front of the Baines Wing are already in place. It is anticipated that following the completion of the project, landscaping of the area in front of the Baines Wing will take place.