£12 million Physics extension announced
The University of Manchester has announced its intention to expand the Schuster Building, home of the School of Physics and Astronomy.
The Schuster Annexe will be constructed on the eastern side of the building, on the corner of Brunswick Street and Upper Brook Street. This area is currently unoccupied and this development is expected to cost in the region of £11.5 million.
The news comes shortly after it was announced that the university is to build a new £350 million engineering campus. Both of these developments are part of the university’s £1 billion Campus Masterplan, which aims to unite all the departments on a single state-of-the-art campus by 2022.
By extending the building rather than constructing an entirely new one, all members of the School of Physics and Astronomy will be able to benefit from this development.
Students and academics alike from other parts of the building will easily be able to cooperate with colleagues based in the new section.
A planning application for the proposals will be submitted at the end of the month.
Constructed in 1967, the Schuster Building was one of the final structures of the University’s Science Quadrangle to be completed. It has an illustrious history; the ‘supermaterial’ graphene was first isolated in the laboratories there in 2004 by Professors Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov.
Having undergone a major refurbishment in 2007, this latest expansion will enable the department to cater for the growing interest in physics and other STEM subjects.
The university has seen a significant increase in applications to the School of Physics and Astronomy in recent years and this new development will enable the university to take in more undergraduate and postgraduate students than ever before.
It is hoped that the extension will enable both the School and the university to improve the learning experience for all students who use the facilities within the building.
Other ambitions include diversifying recruitment and enhancing transferable skills.
One of the School’s main focuses is increasing the employability of it students and providing them with career and workplace knowledge and advice.
By upgrading the facilities and focusing on creating spaces to develop these skills, the department aims to make its students even more attractive to potential employers.
Professor Martin Schröder, Vice-President and Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, said: “The Schuster Annexe development continues the university’s drive to invest in new core facilities to improve teaching and learning for our students.
“It will enhance the skills and employability of our students and extend our outreach capabilities.”