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Wolverhampton Uni to re-tender Wates job

Construction News has learned that the University of Wolverhampton will re-tender for contractors on its new £20m School of Architecture and Built Environment.

The scheme, which is part of a £100m redevelopment of the old Springfield Brewery, involves the renovation of Grade II-listed buildings along with construction of new facilities.

It was originally tendered in October 2016, with Wates being given preferred bidder status.

The university was progressing through the preconstruction services agreement with Wates when the need for changes in scope and cost emerged, prompting a reassessment of the scheme.

A spokesperson for the university told CN: “As we moved to development stage it became apparent that changes were required to the scheme.

“As a result of this and as part of EU procurement rules, we have had to halt the original tender process and will go back out to the market.”

Bidding will re-open in early 2018 following new design work, but the university was not able to say how this will affect the value of the scheme.

The institution said that, despite the delay, it still expected the school to open in the 2019/20 academic year.

The £100m redevelopment will see three new schools opened.

One of these – the £12.9m Elite Centre for Manufacturing Skills – was hit by a £500,000 cost increase in the summer when contractor Aspect Construction found structural problems with the existing building. The centre is due to open in March 2018.

The Springfield Brewery dates back to 1874 and closed in 1991. The university purchased the 5 ha site in 2014.

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