Posted on Friday 2 August 2019 by John Mulgrew

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A Newry construction firm has landed the contract to build the new multi-million pound Students’ Union building at Queen’s University in Belfast, Ulster Business can reveal.

Felix O’Hare has won the tender to build the new union at the site of the current development, which sits across from the main Lanyon Building on University Road.

The new Students’ Union will replace the original building which was opened in 1967, and went through major refurbishment in 2005.

In a design statement from RPP Architects and Hawkins/Brown, it says the building is part of a long-term vision to develop top end facilities across the university “that are truly world class, in particular, to create an emotional heart of Queen’s and a symbol of the ambition that this university has for every student”.

“Students want to be enriched with a full programme of academic, co-curricular and extra-curricular activities and services that will enable them to be the best graduate possible and gain quality employment opportunities,” it says.

“The purpose of the building is to provide facilities to support student life, including the SU (Students’ Union), student guidance, generous open and flexible entrance space, informal learning zones, club rooms, supporting offices, multi-purpose hall, SU Bar, catering and retail outlets”.

Felix O’Hare, which will build the scheme, has already been involved with major Queen’s University projects. That includes building the new School of Law, a development which forms a key part of the university’s £350m investment to transform the campus into world-class facilities for staff and pupils.

A spokesman for Queen’s University told Ulster Business: “Queen’s University Belfast has appointed Felix O’Hare as construction partner on the development of a new student centre and Students’ Union. The new centre, which will be completed in the 2021/2022 academic year, is part of the university’s strategic priority to create world class facilities for students. The project is a two stage construction process. In the first stage, Felix O’Hare will assist the university and its design teams in the development of technical proposals. The second stage will see the development and construction of the main project.”

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