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New build for 'next generation of students’

Campus redevelopments - new academic building

THE latest stage of a multimillion-pound academic building which will provide ultramodern teaching rooms for thousands of students has been unveiled.

A ceremony was held to mark the topping out of the development, situated at the Chichester campus, after work on the structure reached its highest point.

Construction of the multi-use building, which is being undertaken by company Willmott Dixon, will be completed from January 2017.

It is part of a large-scale investments made by the institution which also includes plans for a new Engineering and Digital Technology Park on its Bognor Regis campus.

University Vice-Chancellor Professor Clive Behagg said: “The new development will provide a world-class learning environment for the next generation of students at Chichester.

“We are committed to providing an outstanding learning experience and will continue to invest in both our Chichester and Bognor Regis campuses to ensure that teaching spaces meet the creative, physical, and technological needs of our community.”

The topping out ceremony is, according to a Willmott Dixon employee, performed at the point when the construction reaches its maximum height.

Professor Clive Behagg with Willmott Dixon Director Richard Poulter

This is to ensure its prosperity once the envelope – the brickwork between the interior and exterior of the building – is sealed.

The ritual, which involves pouring oil, corn, wine, and salt over the construction, originates from ancient Persia when occupants planted trees on the uppermost part of their houses to provide shade for roof-top gardens.

Photo: Professor Clive Behagg with Willmott Dixon Director Richard Poulter.