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Clever refurbishment of a Grade 2 property combined with a new-build extension



HIGHLIGHTS

  • UTC built in shadow of famous Lincoln Cathedral
  • Involved refurbishment of Grade 2 listed building
  • Technical challenge to build on a rising slope
  • Underlines skills for bringing heritage buildings back to life

Our team of heritage specialists converted a Grade 2 listed building in the heart of Lincoln into the city’s new University Technical College (UTC).

Lincoln UTC opened for its first academic year in another location while we built its new home in the shadow of the world-famous Lincoln cathedral on Lindum Hill.

Former girls’ school conversion

Previously, the Grade II-listed Greenstone Building was a former girls’ school before being adopted by the University of Lincoln as the home of their School of Art and Design. Our role was to give the building a new lease of life, with the Grade II listed features remaining throughout the renovations, plus adding a new three-storey extension to meet the needs of science and engineering studies.

It now provides a superb facility for 14 to 18-year-olds to learn subjects like maths and English with specialist studies in engineering and science. Some 640 students will attend the UTC when full, making it one of the region’s most popular.

Lincoln UTC Principal Dr Rona Mackenzie: “It feels like a building to fit the vision we had – it’s perfect with each element of the former building’s restoration and the new extension fitting in with the surroundings. This is the combination of so many people’s hard work; Willmott Dixon and JR Roberts our architects, plus all the businesses, Lincoln College, the University of Lincoln and Siemens.

Old makes way for new

Our team also had to demolish an existing 1950s building before constructing a new three-storey facility containing engineering workshops, science laboratories and IT facilities that connected to the refurbished 1890s Greenstone Building.

The site is surrounded by historic buildings: the Grade I-listed Tythe Barn, the Cathedral and the Cathedral’s Close Wall, a scheduled monument which runs directly through the site between the Greenstone Building and the new building. We had to ensure the programme also had to allow time for an archaeological dig.

Also, it was set on a sloping site, with the new steel-framed building requiring excavation of 2,500 m3 of spoil to form a partial basement. It is clad in Ancaster Limestone (from Grantham), with a roof divided into seven roofs – to look like separate buildings from above – and part covered in Turncoat Steel to mimic lead.

Huge praise

Speaking about the work, Dr Rona Mackenzie said:

“This project involved making sure our beautiful new building fits into the landscape. Then there are the exciting additions to make it fit for work, and it is an adult work environment. Moving in, our students are really excelling and we expect strong and impressive AS results.”

UTCs

University Technical Colleges are technical secondary schools for 14-18 year olds. They offer a broad curriculum that combines an academic education with technical and practical learning. A university and local employers back each UTC. Their vision is to offer young people a high quality technical education that provides employers with the skilled engineers, scientists and technicians that they need to secure their continual and future growth.

The values of all University Technical Colleges are:

  • the integration of technical and academic education is critical;
  • practical work is as highly valued as academic work;
  • the curriculum is responsive to the needs of employers and universities;
  • project based learning is habitual;
  • students can see clear progression pathways when they leave the UTC;
  • students are given the skills and experience to prepare them for highly valued employment.