Architect's £24m teaching block is phase one of masterplan for Wolverhampton's five campuses.
Architect RMJM is masterplanning a 10-year building programme to redevelop the University of Wolverhampton's main campuses.

The architect has already produced designs for phase one of the redevelopment, a £24m project including a four-storey block at its central Wolverhampton site. This is to receive part-funding of £4m from the Higher Education Funding Council for England.

The planning application for the scheme will be considered next month, and if passed, construction is due to start at the end of the year. The block is expected to open in September 2002.

University of Wolverhampton vice-chancellor John Brooks said the overall development programme would establish an international reputation for the university.

He said: "This major undertaking will see the University of Wolverhampton equipped for academic delivery in the future and put it not just on the regional map, but internationally as well."

The 10 000 m2 block will house the health sciences department, a dining area, an exhibition hall and lecture theatres. It replaces a seven-storey concrete block, which will be demolished.

RMJM director Kevin Lloyd said the block and masterplan would establish a central landscaped centre for the campus.

He said: "I think it's a better strategy for the campus. The landscaped area will give more of a focus for the campus, giving the university a heart.

It’s a better strategy for the campus … giving the university a heart Kevin Lloyd, RMJM

"We are creating a frontage to achieve this and plan that future phases of the programme will marry into this approach." QS on the project is Davis Langdon & Everest and structural engineer is Buro Happold.

The university's project administrator Angela Nash said the university was still in the process of finalising the overall masterplan, which will include further demolition and rebuilding work, as well as the renovation of existing structures.

Nash said: "There could be three phases, there could be 12. It depends on funding as well how the university develops its services in the next few years."

Nash said the masterplan would include the closure of one of the university's five campuses, in Dudley. Plans for the other sites – in Walsall Telford and Compton Park – have yet to be completed.

Teaching and learning facilities on the Dudley campus will be moved to purpose-built accommodation at the Wolverhampton campus.

Property firm Chesterton is acting as masterplanning consultant for the programme. The university has yet to appoint a project manager for the Wolverhampton campus block.