Start of build begins 01.02.10
Start of build begins 01.02.1001 February 2010
Schoolchildren were given a close-up inspection of the site of the new Worcester Library and History Centre during a special event to mark the start of building work.
Contractors Galliford Try are due to begin construction of the £60 million project, which is being developed by Worcestershire County Council and the University of Worcester, with support from Advantage West Midlands and Worcester City Council.
The combined facility, believed to be the first of its kind in Europe, will draw together the County Council's library services, the University's library, the County record office, including history centre, the archaeology service and the Worcestershire Hub customer services centre.
Professor David Green, Vice Chancellor of the University of Worcester, and Dr George Lord, Leader of the County Council, marked the start of the work with a guided tour for pupils from Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Primary School in Worcester, as well as key staff who have been working on the project.
The schoolchildren were then shown a selection of artefacts that had been recovered from the Butts dig throughout the spring, summer and autumn, including locally produced Roman pottery. They discussed how and where they were found and what they were used for in Roman Worcester, courtesy of Worcestershire Historic Environment and Archaeology Service.
Professor Green said: "This is a very important regeneration project for Worcester and will create a great public building for everyone to use. It will serve the needs of the people and be a place that visitors from all over the world will want to come and spend time in.”
Dr Lord added: "Since the idea for WLHC first came about, there has been a lot of excitement about what the facility can offer to everyone.
“The building is being developed with the customer at the very core of its creation, and as we move forward, we are positive of the impact this partnership project will have on Worcestershire and on the wider community.”
The Library and History Centre is expected to open in 2012 and features a number of ideas fed through from public consultation. These include the design of the Library Island following suggestions of making use of outdoor space as well as indoor areas.
The building will be one of the most environmentally sustainable in the country, using natural light and ventilation through much of the interior, water from the River Severn for cooling, woodchip for heating and incorporating solid laminated timber in the roof.
The building has already received recognition for its unique design, winning the Bentley Be Inspired Innovation in Generative Design award. The project has also attracted attention from organisations as diverse as the London Climate Change Partnership and the University of North Carolina.