Wednesday, 12 November 2014

42 Collegiate Crescent

I get Sheffield Hallam Uni's monthly business-related e-magazine, and noticed an invitation to visit their new £27M 'Heart of the Campus' facility.  It's sort of "our neighbours' new extension", so I didn't feel the need to adopt any official capacity to accept the offer.

For over a year there's been evident construction work on the go.  But I didn't realise they'd bored down 700 meters for a ground source heat pump installation.   Beyond much environmental high-tech, the whole functional layout is impressive.  On a relatively small footprint they've set up extensive teaching rooms, staff/faculty areas, a huge open-plan concourse with cafe and SU, and substantial gym and sports facility.  There's even a fully equipped courtroom for the law studies students.  My teaching experience was housed in separate blocks for each function.  Such intense usage would create noise problems, and they've introduced extra lowered ceilings to suppress echo/reverb and give the larger spaces a more intimate scale. 

We had a good nosey into the gym, and I found that local residents can sign up for £14 per month.  That's hard to beat - and resist - when it's just a few minutes' walk away.  Then we went to the top floor, where the staff have an enviable roof-top balcony overlooking the east city centre. 

I had to decline the full meal that followed the presentation and tour, as Mary and I were due to go to Phil's and Donna's for our 'Wednesday Agape'.  But there are other events to follow.  Hallam boasts to be the most modern campus in the country (and it's one of the biggest Unis).   I told the organiser that whatever their community liaison team had been doing over the years had worked.  We no longer get drunken revellers pushing the coping stones off our garden wall in the early hours of the morning.  She didn't seem impressed.    

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