20/10/2010

Open University HQ Opens In Belfast

Servicing Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, an expanded new Open University headquarters has now opened in Belfast.

It is designed to accommodate 58 university staff who in turn support 350 part-time associate lecturers and more than 7,500 students throughout Ireland.

The development on Victoria Street, of the six-storey Old Bank building, was carried out by Craigavon based interior fit out company Ardmac. A large roof top terrace was constructed using Deck25 solid composite decking. Deck25 is the low maintenance anti slip alternative to problematic timber decking. Mr. David Hanna, Managing Director of Decking NI Ltd said: "Working with Ardmac on the Open University project was a very straightforward process. Deck25 low maintenance decking was simply the best product for the job.

"Deck25 is the decking of choice for many architects and specifier's for commercial terrace and balcony projects. Deck25 plastic composite decking solves the two main problems associated with timber decking namely maintenance and slip resistance."

Dr Rosemary Hamilton, Director of the OU in Ireland, said: "This new city centre location will raise the profile of the OU in Ireland, enable us to be more accessible to our students. We look forward to continuing to provide higher education opportunities to people throughout Ireland from both the new headquarters in Belfast and the Enquiry and Advice Centre in Dublin."

Guests at the opening ceremony included Northern Ireland Minister for Employment and Learning Sir Reg Empey; writer, broadcaster and honorary graduate Olivia O'Leary; and OU graduate and tutor Marie Lavery, who all spoke at the event, together with representatives from the education community throughout Ireland.

(CD/BMcC)

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