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BMEc to move into new academic building

The new academic building

The Freeman Centre

After four years of planning and construction, the new academic building is about to be handed over to the University by the contractor – and the School of Business, Management and Economics (BMEc) will move into the building later this summer.

Staff in the School of Law, Politics and Sociology (LPS) – who had also expected to move into the new building - will remain where they are in Friston for the 2012-13 academic year.

In summer 2013 they will move into the space in the Freeman Centre that is currently occupied by SPRU – Science and Technology Policy Research. During 2012-13 this building will be refurbished to create high-quality academic space, with an appropriate mix of offices and seminar rooms replacing the open plan.

The change of plan for use of the new academic building has come about because of the growth in student and staff numbers in both BMEc and LPS.

When the building was planned in 2008, it was designed to provide teaching and research space for around 100 academics and students from the two schools.

Both have grown since then and there are now more than 90 staff in the two departments of Business and Management and Economics combined, with a further 38 in SPRU (which is part of BMEc), and over 50 in LPS.

John Duffy, Registrar and Secretary, said: “While we would of course like to have been able to accommodate all parts of both schools in the new academic building, their success and planned future growth makes this impossible. It is very clear that two into one will not go.

“This is a solution which is designed to best meet the complex and evolving needs of two important and growing schools, working with the some of the best space that is available at Sussex.”

Compared with other buildings on campus, the Freeman Centre currently has low staff and student usage and its energy consumption is high relative to its levels of use – in fact, double the University’s targets for campus buildings.

John Duffy said: “The planned changes would enable us to use this building in a way that strongly supports the growth of social sciences at Sussex.”

The building will then be renamed and the “Freeman” name, which recognises Professor Chris Freeman (the founder of SPRU), will transfer to an appropriate part of the new academic building.

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Posted on behalf of: University of Sussex
Last updated: Friday, 1 June 2012