Royal opening of Greenhead College’s new Hirst Building

Photo credit: Matt Radcliffe Photography

Greenhead College’s latest building development has officially been opened by HRH The Duke of Gloucester KG GCVO.

The Hirst building, which has been fully funded by the Department for Education, and developed and constructed by Mace and Galliford Try, replaces the College’s 1960s Science block with vibrant, modern classrooms and laboratories for the teaching of A Levels in Biology, Chemistry, Medical Science, Government & Politics and Psychology. It also contains study and social space for all students. Its eco-friendly features include a bio roof and solar panels, which support the College’s drive for environmental sustainability.

Photo credit: Matt Radcliffe Photography

His Royal Highness toured the building, visiting students and staff as their lessons took place, before cutting the ribbon and unveiling the plaque alongside Professor Judy Hirst to mark it officially open.

Photo credit: Matt Radcliffe Photography

Simon Lett, Principal at Greenhead College said:

“We are honoured and grateful to His Royal Highness, the Duke of Gloucester, for inaugurating the new Hirst building. This new resource is named after Professor Judy Hirst, a former student of Greenhead College, whose support for science and especially championing women in STEM is truly valued. As one of the most successful Sixth Form Colleges in the country, these new classrooms and labs will enable Greenhead to go from strength-to-strength.”

Jack Broomhead, Senior Project Manager at Galliford Try, said:

“We are proud to have been part of creating this Net Zero carbon in operation facility for Greenhead College, demonstrating what can be achieved with a firm focus on sustainability.”

The Hirst building has been named after Professor Judy Hirst, who was also in attendance at the opening. Judy is a former Greenhead College student who has since gone on to be a pioneering woman in science and Fellow and Director of Studies in Chemistry at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. Commenting on having the building named after her, Judy said:

Photo credit: Matt Radcliffe Photography

“It’s a great honour to have the fantastic new science building at Greenhead College named after me.  Greenhead is where I started my journey as a scientist – it showed me I could succeed and sent me off into the world.  It’s also part of my identity.  My family have lived in Huddersfield for many generations (my grandmother attended Greenhead High School for Girls, as it was then) and the Hirst Building renews my sense of belonging and of being part of the Greenhead community.  But most of all, I am delighted to give my name to a building where so many talented young people will come to learn and study, and I look forward to seeing both Greenhead and its students continue to go from strength-to-strength.”