North East & Yorkshire

£53 million civic centre is the jewel in the crown of town renaissance scheme

Construction of Rotherham’s new £53 million civic centre is making good progress in a project which is a key part of the £2bn Rotherham Renaissance scheme.

The new building will bring together council services from across the town centre, allowing the vacated sites to be redeveloped.

The development is located on the former Guest & Chrimes site by the River Don in the town centre.

The design has been prepared by architects Carey Jones, who worked on the Frenchgate Interchange in Doncaster and the St Pauls Quarter in Leeds. The main contractor is GMI Construction.

The design aims to provide a high quality new office development with strong links to the town centre, bringing a significant portion of the former Guest & Chrimes site back into economic use. Also included in the development are landscaping, flood protection and improvements to the junction with Main Street. The building is set to open out to the town and river to the east, and to introduce a sense of arrival relating to the new civic square. The publicly accessible plaza will see visitors from the town centre cross the existing road bridge and emerge into a light filled public space.

The works involve the construction of a 16,000 sq m modern office building with three individual blocks of 5-7 storeys, interlinked at one end by a large glazed atrium.

Other features include a single storey semi-basement, incorporating car parks, store and plant rooms. The car parking layout is co-ordinated with the structure grid for the three blocks.

At the centre of the building there is a front reception/entrance block with access via five staircases, eight personnel lifts and one goods lift.

The building has steel frame structure, with composite in-situ metal decked floors, encapsulated with a stone and metal rainscreen cladding system and dry wall lift shaft construction. The exterior will incorporate sandstone similar to Rotherham Red and brass metal work to reflect the history of the borough and the site.

The design also includes two roof courtyards which have the potential to be developed as garden spaces for the adjacent offices.

Once complete, the building will achieve a BREEAM energy efficiency rating of ‘Excellent’.

Project manager Paul Smith told Premier Construction that work was progressing at pace, saying, “By the time we’re finished, this development will lead to a much more efficient council service – not only in terms of being centralized, but also in terms of the 30% saving in desk space it will provide.”

Chief executive of Rotherham Council, Martin Kimber, said, “We are all working together delivering regeneration. It is fantastic to see regeneration in the borough, in the heart of the town centre”. He added, “GMI Construction Group and their subcontractors are doing a great job in using local labour and sourcing local materials”.

Jarrod Best, managing director of GMI Construction, added, “This flagship development brings together a state-of–the-art building design and specification, alongside traditionally, locally sourced materials built by a local workforce.

“On behalf of the expert team working on this project, we are excited to be playing a leading role in the renaissance of Rotherham town centre, and the ongoing regeneration of the surrounding area, creating new jobs, investment and social opportunities”.

Once completed in early 2012, the scheme will free existing council office sites throughout the town centre enabling alternative redevelopment to take place.

GMI Construction is a well established and successful building and construction services company with a track record for delivering award winning projects for an international portfolio of developers, public sector clients and blue chip companies.

The company’s operations span multiple sectors and region specialising in the delivery of high quality, energy efficient and often complex construction projects worth up to £50 million from inception to completion, meeting tight deadlines and rigorous specifications with confidence.

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