Sir Robert McAlpine has been appointed as lead contractor, for the first phase of development for Chetham's School of Music's School which is part of an exciting project which will change the face of Manchester.
The contract, worth £22.5 million, will see works start on site at the end of the month. The development will house two performance spaces, ensemble rooms, many vital practice rooms as well as teaching rooms and will re-position Chetham's as a national resource for music education.
The architect is Stephenson Bell and Drivers Jonas Deloitte is project managing the building of the New School. Chetham's is being advised throughout the development programme by Michael Oglesby from leading commercial property developer, Bruntwood.
Michael Oglesby, who has led the project for the School since its conception and is a Trustee of Chetham's Hospital School and Library, said; "Chetham's is undoubtedly one of the finest Music Schools in the world, and the New School Building will provide students and staff with a facility which benefits this status."
The New building will be located in the heart of the Medieval Quarter of Manchester between Victoria Station, the MEN Arena and the existing school building; and is the first piece of the jigsaw for proposals towards making the Medieval Quarter and Northern Gateway of the City more accessible to the general public.
Network Rail's plans for the transformation of Victoria Station are expected to be revealed in the next month and are believed to include the School as a key element while The Co-operative Group's ambitious plans to transform its 20-acres of land, close to Chetham's, followed the School's lead.
Claire Hickman, head of Chetham's commented; "This is a very exciting time for Chetham's, these works signal the beginning of a new era for the School. The investment in the buildings will not only provide the best facilities for our students and staff to grow and learn, but they will also provide our partners with greater opportunities to work with us."
Once the new school building is complete, the latter phases of Chetham's master-plan will begin. This will include the refurbishment and conversion works to the existing Millgate and Nicholls buildings; these buildings which currently house the existing classrooms will be transformed into suitable accommodation for the students. Additional refurbishment to the boys' dormitory and current performance venue in Whiteley Hall will be undertaken.
HRH The Earl of Wessex is a supporter of the New School Building project and recently helped the school launch 'Raise the Roof', a fundraising appeal to raise a £1million shortfall in funds towards the development and anyone wishing to donate can visit http://www.chethams.com/news/raise-the-roof