The East Building located next to the University’s Library Building will be extensively refurbished as part of the works and the new facility is due to open in early 2022.
Nigel Lucker, Director of Estates at the University of Suffolk and project lead, said, “I am delighted that we are now moving to the key stage of our exciting development of the University’s East Building. The refurbishment is critical for our Estates strategy and the East Building will accommodate specialist teaching and clinical skills areas. It will bring together current and new provision to create a Health and Wellbeing quarter.”
Bob Steward, Joint MD of Barnes Construction said “This scheme complements our already extensive experience of working in the education and health sectors. As an Ipswich-based employer, we are very pleased to be involved in a project in the heart of our hometown, which not only enhances educational opportunities locally, but also supports the recruitment requirements of the NHS and other healthcare providers.”
Several local businesses are working on the project, alongside Barnes Construction, including KLH Architects, Superstructures and Castons.
Once completed, the East Building will provide state-of-the-art, purpose-built space dedicated to educating and supporting Healthcare students and professionals, providing facilities that mirror those you would expect to see in hospitals, clinics, laboratories, as well as other professional healthcare centres.
To support the changing needs of health and social care services the new building will enable the University to double the number of places for students wishing to study as nurses, midwives, paramedics and radiographers as well as starting a new course in physiotherapy. It will give local people an increased opportunity to be part of the local health and care workforce and will become a centre of excellence which will attract new students from across the globe, impacting positively on the wider economy.
The East Building, will house two floors of brand-new clinical simulation facilities, featuring two state-of-the-art hospital wards, a midwifery birthing unit, a psychology lab, a new sports and exercise facility, a working radiography imaging suite, counselling/physiotherapy clinic rooms and the Suffolk Institute of Health and Wellbeing research. It will also be home to the new Integrated Care Academy promoting integrated care among our student body, practice partners and the wider community. This innovative facility will place the University of Suffolk as a national leader in health and social care education.
Dr Paul Driscoll-Evans, Dean of School Health and Sports Sciences, said “These new facilities will allow the University of Suffolk to shape the future of our health and social care services. By providing the profession with graduates who embrace the value of integrated care, who have experience of working within environments that simulate clinical practice, and who have an understanding of the new technologies and equipment that is in situ in hospitals and medical facilities. Our students will also have access to academic staff and clinicians who promote research-based practice. I’m proud to be part of this initiative and I am looking forward to seeing our students use the facility in 2022.”
Image– artist impression of the East Building once work has been completed. Credit: Bluecube.