Greenhead College’s new £25m building is now in action with a formal opening later this month.

The Hirst Building replaces an old 1960s science block with modern classrooms and laboratories to teach A Levels in biology, chemistry, medical science, politics and psychology.

It also contains study and social space for all students – and there are now 2,600 at Greenhead College – with its eco-friendly features including a bio roof and solar panels.

The four-storey, 57,000 sq ft Hirst Building has been named after Professor Judy Hirst, a former Greenhead College student who has since gone on to be a pioneer in science at the University of Cambridge.

She is Director of the Medical Research Council Mitochondrial Biology Unit at the university which aims to understand the fundamental biological processes taking place in mitochondria to learn about mitochondrial dysfunction in human diseases to develop new therapies to treat them.

Mitochondrial disease is a very complex condition. In nearly every cell in the body mitochondria are responsible for producing energy but if they don’t work properly it means tissues and organs such as the heart won’t function correctly. Sometimes the mitochondria are not very efficient and, in severe cases, they don’t work at all.

Huddersfield dad Eddie Wall has the condition and you can read more about that at

The Hirst Building is the centrepiece of a major renovation of Greenhead College’s campus with work now ongoing to demolish the old science building and replace it with a new central hall and external colonnade area. Work on this is expected to finish in summer 2025.

Images by: Andrew Heptinstall Photography

The Hirst Building has been fully funded by the Department for Education and is one of the first 50 schools and colleges selected by the government to be awarded funding to replace outdated facilities under its School Rebuilding Programme.

It has been developed and constructed by Mace and Galliford Try and Cliff Wheatley, managing director for Galliford Try Building North East and Yorkshire, said: “This project is a fantastic addition to our portfolio and has proved a productive learning experience as we continue to develop our approach to producing net zero educational facilities.”

The company specialises in net zero carbon projects and the new Hirst Building has passive ventilation and heat recovery which keeps energy use low while LED lights and low energy services are combined with a building management system to ensure that consumption is closely monitored. The solar panels help the energy supply to the building.

Greenhead College is currently celebrating its 50th anniversary as a sixth form college and is rated Outstanding by Ofsted. The Hirst Building will be formally opened on Tuesday, April 23.

Written by ANDY HIRST who runs his own Yorkshire freelance journalism agency AH! PR ( specialising in press releases, blogging, website content and copywriting.


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