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Leeds College Art Announces Further Refurbishment Campaign

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Leading UK property consultant GVA Grimley has been awarded a second contract from Leeds College of Art after it successfully managed last summer's £300,000 refurbishment project of one of its Grade II listed buildings. 


The additional refurbishment project at the specialist arts college - whose previous students include Henry Moore and Damien Hirst - will go a long way to further enhance facilities for current and future students.


GVA Grimley will begin work on the circa £600,000 project to the adjacent building on Vernon Street in May. The Grade II listed building was originally built in 1888 and was extended in the 1960's.  The project looks set for completion in August 2010 in preparation for the influx of new students. 


Simone Wonnacott, principal of Leeds College Art, comments: "The refurbishment project was such a success last year that we were compelled to continue the campaign and breathe new life back into our portfolio of Grade II listed buildings.


"Our aim is to provide our students with a contemporary working environment for them to enjoy being in and one which promotes the ability to learn and flourish." 


GVA Grimley associate, Kevin Nicholls added: "Our brief is pretty similar to our last project in that we'll be undertaking suitable repairs that will safeguard the long-term future of the building together with improving its thermal performance to exceed current Building Regulations by implementing energy saving technologies. 


"Before the project got underway my colleagues in the planning, development and regeneration team ensured we have the suitable listed building consent to undertake the refurbishment. Much of the work is necessary to address issues that are typical in buildings of this age, such as historic water leaks through the roof and upper walls and poor insulation values."


The project will see GVA Grimley undertake the external refurbishment of the entire building, including the re-cladding of the 1960's four storey extension, replacement and repairs to the building's windows and doors, masonry repairs, redecoration and the replacement of the slate pitched roof.  The replacement roof slates will be Welsh Heather Blue Slate to match the recently refurbished Rossington Street building and the Leeds City Museum to ensure aesthetic consistency with the adjacent buildings. 


Mr Nicholls concluded: "Any refurbishment to listed buildings has to be undertaken in a sympathetic nature and we'll be liaising regularly with Leeds City Council Listed Planning Department to ensure they remain completely satisfied with how the project is taking shape."   


The planned works will not only improve the appearance of the building but also improve its green credentials and secure its long-standing future on Vernon Street for future generations to enjoy. 


GVA Grimley is taking steps to incorporate eco-friendly measures into the refurbishment including a full insulation programme to minimise heat wastage. It is also incorporating low solar heat gain glazing into the double glazed roof lights to regulate temperature within the top floor art studios to help keep it warm in winter and cool in the summer.  This will improve the thermal performance of the building, achieving u-values that will exceed current Building Regulations for thermal performance.    


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Issued on behalf of GVA Grimley by Beattie Communications