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11/10-10   -   Press releases

Kier Southern celebrates a top performance with the University of Surrey

The University of Surrey’s new £3m Performing Arts Centre is well on its way to hosting its first performance, and on Wednesday 06 October representatives from the University joined the Kier Southern site team for a topping out ceremony.

University Vice Chancellor, Professor Christopher Snowden, celebrated the construction milestone by ceremoniously trowelling over some cement. The event continued with speeches from the Professor Snowden and other University personnel as well as Kier Southern director, Phil Durigan, who presented the Vice Chancellor with the gift of an engraved trowel to commemorate the occasion.

Commenting at the ceremony, Professor Snowden, said: "The University has a thriving performing arts community and a long established reputation for achievement in this area. This building is a visible signal of Surrey´s commitment to providing the highest quality facilities for our students, staff and visitors. I am grateful to Kier and the many people who have been involved with this project for their tremendous efforts in bringing this exciting venture to fruition."

The construction of the new Performing Arts Centre involves the conversion of an existing sports hall into a fantastic community resource that will not only benefit the university students, but the wider public as well. The project involves stripping out the remains of the sports facilities and demolition of various walls to create a performance area that will be able to seat 197 people in the main area, with telescopic platform seating, and provision for another two-dozen people sitting on the first-floor balcony.

And the construction does not stop there, behind the scenes Kier Southern is building bar facilities, changing rooms, a green room, three performance dance studios, a laundry, toilets, and costume and scenery facilities.

In keeping with traditional topping out customs, the Kier Southern site team also donated a sapling to the University for planting in the grounds around the new centre. The gift of a sapling symbolises growth and is said bring luck to the building and all its occupiers in the years to come.

Kier Southern director Phil Durigan said: “It is fantastic to be here today to commemorate this significant milestone in the construction of the Performing Arts Centre. This latest project is one of many that Kier has enjoyed delivering for University of Surrey over a long and wonderful relationship which has spanned over a decade. I am sure that this fabulous new facility will be enjoyed by all for many, many years to come."

Work began on the Performing Arts Centre in April this year and is scheduled to complete by February 2011.

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