Esh to create new chapter for university library

L-R: Heriot Watt’s head of resource and facility services Iain Young, deputy principal Prof John Sawkins, director of information services Kathy McCade, Esh Border Construction site manager Robert Faulds, regional director Gerard McMahon, construction director Paul Devine and contract manager Steven Kelly

ESH Border Construction is set to deliver an “extensive” refurbishment project at Heriot-Watt University.

The Livingston-based business has been tasked with transforming the university’s Cameron Smail Library into a “modern and welcoming” learning environment.

The £4 million project will involve stripping back the existing building and constructing a new layout with replacement fixtures, fittings and decoration.

The works will be completed over five phases and will also see the replacement of internal doors, the refurbishment of toilet facilities, and the addition of new windows, as well as new mechanical and electrical installations.

Gerard McMahon, Esh Border Construction’s regional director for Scotland said, “The Cameron Smail library was a pioneering academic building when it was constructed over 40 years ago. It has since been used as a model for universities across the world and we are very proud to play such a pivotal role in securing its future as a modern state-of-the-art learning facility.

“Careful planning and preparation has been put in by our teams in full consultation with the team at Heriot-Watt and we are confident disruption will be kept to a minimum as we look to deliver a cost-effective, energy-efficient, modern facility.”

Professor John Sawkins, deputy principal of learning and teaching at Heriot-Watt University added, “We’re delighted to be working in partnership with Esh Border Construction on this refurbishment to turn our library into a modern, flexible and comfortable environment fit for a forward-looking ambitious university.

“Throughout the planning works we’ve been working closely with students, academic colleagues, library staff and consultants to get the best use of the space to provide access to a wide range of print and electronic resources and comfortable study space to support our students’ academic success.

“With improved space and technology, this construction project clearly demonstrates the University’s commitment to delivering the very best learning and teaching environment for all our students.”

Esh will be joined on the project by architects Lewis and Hickey, quantity surveyors Turner Townsend, structural engineers Peter Brett Associates, mechanical and electrical engineers RSP and project managers WSP Parsons Brinkerhoff.