Skip to content Exit mobile menu

The past year has meant we’ve had to pause a lot of the activity we had planned to improve our campus and enhance the on-site campus experience for students and staff.

As we look ahead to the next academic year, the return of more face to face contact, and the ambition to continue delivering a first-class education experience for students we have relaunched some exciting projects. The first being ‘Student Heart’.

Lift shaft construction
Phase one: J Block - Lift shaft construction
Removal of outside seating area
Dolce Vita - Removal of outside seating area
Phase one - stripping out carpets, demolishing walls and clearing rubble
Phase one - stripping out carpets, demolishing walls and clearing rubble
Phase one - stripping out carpets, demolishing walls and clearing rubble
Phase one - stripping out carpets, demolishing walls and clearing rubble
Construction works to extension from DV
Construction works to extension from DV
Phase one - stripping out materials
Phase one - stripping out materials
Preparing the site for construction
Preparing the site for construction
Brick and block work - building external structures
Brick and block work - building external structures
Digging foundations for the extension
Digging foundations for the extension
Installation of temporary wall to allow creation of corridor from Library
Installation of temporary wall to allow creation of corridor from Library
New signage added to hoardings
New signage added to hoardings
Artists impression of the new space
Artists impression of the new space
Shape St Mary's: Your Campus Life
Shape St Mary's: Your Campus Life

What is Student Heart

Student Heart was created in 2018. It covers a number of construction projects that will significantly enhance the student experience at St Mary's – delivering facilities that match our ambitions for the future and maximising the impact of our stunning surroundings

At the centre of this are four key themes:

  • Student experience
  • Widening participation
  • Student recruitment
  • Student retention

Why is student heart important?

The University’s main campus comprises of a wide range of buildings of different ages and construction. The central area of the main campus, between the sports fields and piazza has buildings that are largely standalone with no inter relationship either physically or between the uses within them.

Student Heart will bring buildings together, not just physically but by developing a coherent flow of users, improving student facilities and their experience.

The project will focus on the area shown below, principally focusing on the Library through to the Student Bar and Hall and the surrounding external areas.

The project will improve existing infrastructure through better interior and exterior design, enhanced external spaces and increasing flexibility of uses. 

This is expected to:

  • Provide an excellent student experience and assist retention by providing modern fit for purpose spaces for a wide variety of students to learn and relax;
  • support recruitment by enhancing the appeal and the look of the campus;
  • support the widening participation agenda through provision of touch down and day facilities for students who do not live on campus.

In summary, the buildings in scope are:

  • Library (ground floor)
  • Dolce Vita
  • J block ground floor including careers
  • Bar and hall

The external areas in scope are:between the buildings and the athletics track;Student Square;the “corridors” leading from Student Square between the theatre workshop and J block and along past careers.

The Student Heart project will be carried out in a phased approach and we will update students and staff at each stage of the project. In summary:

  • Phase 1 (Monday 5th July - Friday 27th August 2021):
    H3 Office
  • Phase 2 (Monday 5th July 2021 - Friday 28th January 2022):
    Lift, Main Careers Trackside Extension and Link Extension to Library and First Floor
  • Phase 3 (Monday 4th October 2021 - Friday 28th January 2022)
    Back of Bar 
  • Phase 4 (Monday 13th December 2021 - Friday 28th January 2022):
    J Block Ground Floor Corridor near Male and Female Toilets and bar
  • Dolce Vita Cafe (TBC)

Like with all major development projects there will inevitably be some noise and disruption as the works progress. We’re working closely with our contractors to ensure disruption is kept to a minimum.

The latest information and regular updates about the project will be posted on this web page, and shared via Staff and Student communication channels.

We welcome your feedback. Please contact the University’s Estates team, by emailing estates@stmarys.ac.uk