University development at critical stage

SUFFOLK'S first university has today reached a “critical stage”, it was announced. As University Campus Suffolk bosses released exclusively to the Evening Star the latest designs for a £20million university building, enabling work was underway on the Ipswich Waterfront UCS site.

SUFFOLK'S first university has today reached a “critical stage”, it was announced.

As University Campus Suffolk bosses released exclusively to the Evening Star the latest designs for a £20million university building, enabling work was underway on the Ipswich Waterfront UCS site.

Neil Jackson, UCS director of estates and facilities, is overseeing the building project.

He said: “UCS is at a critical stage, enabling work has begun and contractual agreements are due to be finalised shortly before work begins on the new building in March. This is a very exciting time for UCS.”

Costing an estimated £150million over the next ten years, land has already been set aside for the project and UCS, plus a new Suffolk College, will create an 'education quarter' stretching from Rope Walk to the Ipswich Waterfront.

Mr Jackson said: “We have completed an archaeological survey of the site. The archaeological unit was looking for remains of Ipswich's medieval port and related buildings but any evidence had been destroyed during the intervening years.”

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In modern times the site previously contained a petrol station, grain silo and animal feed processing factory.

Mr Jackson “We are also investigating the results of a ground radar survey. We have found a number of anomalies and been digging holes finding buried building materials and metals.

“We have satisfied ourselves there is no under ground contamination.”

Contractors have also dug a test bore to discover if eco-friendly ground source heating - which uses the earth to store heating energy - will be possible.

Mr Jackson added: “We have not yet had the results on that but the evidence so far shows this will be possible.”

A partnership lead by the universities of East Anglia and Essex, the UCS project is supported by Suffolk County Council, Ipswich Borough Council and the East of England Development Agency.

UCS will include the Ipswich campus and a number of linked centres in other Suffolk towns. This county-wide campus will be known as the Suffolk Learning Centres.

Do you remember what used to be on the UCS site? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

March 2007 - work begins on UCS building.

August 2007 - Offical Launch of UCS.

September 2007 - First students to enrol at UCS.

Autumn 2008 - Planned opening of first UCS building on Ipswich Waterfront.

Expected to be worth £1 million a week to the Ipswich economy

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