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Major construction contract awarded

Andrew Grant (Univ North Project Director & Finance Bursar) and Baroness Amos (Master, Univ)

A further milestone was reached on 3 October as Univ signed the construction contract to deliver its Univ North accommodation scheme with SDC Builders Limited.

The North Oxford development will provide Univ’s students, academics and staff with the very best facilities and enhance the Univ community, which has had a home at the Staverton Road site for over 50 years. The contract will enact the approved masterplan for the scheme with five new, energy efficient buildings, the renovation of two existing buildings and the rejuvenation of heritage orchards, all within beautifully landscaped gardens.

L to R: Andrew Grant (Univ North Project Director & Finance Bursar), Baroness Amos (Master, Univ), Adam Knaggs (SDC)

Andrew Grant, Univ North Project Director, said: “We are delighted to announce that the final construction contract for the Univ North scheme has been awarded today. We have been working closely with SDC, our construction partner, through this year under a pre-contract services agreement and we are very pleased with all aspects of their work. We now look forward to the successful completion of this exciting project.”

The Univ North site has been a hive of activity since the beginning of the year with site preparation works, contemporary extensions demolished, new foundations poured, new access paths introduced, and much more. At the same time, behind the scenes an expert team, led by Bidwells project management has been finalising the detailed design and contract documentation. Only now that all this work has come together has it been possible to sign the construction contract today.

L to R: Angela Unsworth (Domestic Bursar, Univ), Andrew Grant (Univ North Project Director & Finance Bursar), Baroness Amos (Master, Univ), Adam Knaggs (SDC)

Baroness Amos, Master of the College, said: “This is the final piece of the puzzle, which we have now put in place. I would like to thank all our partners and teams for their hard work and commitment.

“Univ North is transformational for Univ, enabling us to further realise our ambitions with respect to academic excellence, diversity, and inclusion. It will enhance the experience of our students and benefit our whole community.”

Daniel Changer, Director, SDC Builders Ltd, said: “We’re delighted to have been awarded the construction contract for the Univ North Development after working closely with the project team over the past few months. The enabling works are progressing well on site, and we’re excited to continue with the construction on this important project.”

L to R: Felice Nassar (Director of Development, Communications and Alumni Relations, Univ), Bhavin Mistry (Arcadis), Huw Davies (Buildings & Maintenance Manager, Univ), Kirsteen Made (Blake Morgan), Daniel Changer (SDC), Angela Unsworth (Domestic Bursar, Univ), Andrew Grant (Univ North Project Director & Finance Bursar), Adam Knaggs (Managing Director of SDC), Baroness Amos (Master, Univ), Richard Wade (Blake Morgan), Richard Todd (Bidwells), Neil Stockdale (Arcadis)

About the Univ North scheme
The Univ North new build project will provide additional accommodation comprising up to 150 en suite study bedspaces, a nursery and outdoor space for up to 54 children, café, gym, study, and meeting spaces. The site includes the existing Fairfield Residential Home. The enhanced collegiate community at Univ North will benefit from exceptional landscaped gardens and rejuvenated heritage orchards.

You can read more about the College’s vision for its complementary community, and our latest developments, on the Univ North page or read all of our Univ North News.

About SDC
Over the past half century SDC has strengthened its position as a leading regional contractor with an ever-increasing reputation for delivering high-quality buildings. Key to the company’s success has been the ability to find buildable, cost-effective solutions for complex projects, particularly when the architectural vision has sought to create iconic buildings that strike a balance between modernity and a city’s historic surroundings. The team, led by Mr Adam Knaggs, Managing Director, and Mr Daniel Changer, Board Director, will use their expertise to provide a quality product that is handed over on time, offers value for money and meets the high expectations of University College, Oxford.

• The Univ North development project was designed by Stirling Prize winning architect Níall McLaughlin and celebrated landscape architect Kim Wilkie
• The planning consent for OCC 20/00116/FUL was granted in October 2020
• The project team has been coordinated by Mr Richard Todd of Bidwells Project Management Services. Stantec (Barton Willmore) provided planning consultancy

Photographs by Jonathan Self.

Published: 10 October 2023

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