McArthur Hall, Methodist College, Belfast

McArthur Hall is a Grade B1 listed building on the Methodist College Belfast site. The Hall was designed by Sir Thomas Newenham Deane and his son, Thomas Manly Deane, as a place of residence for girl boarders.  The original project was funded by a gift from Sir William McArthur and was completed in 1891. In 2010, the boarding departments in McArthur Hall and the Main Building closed, ending a 142-year history of boarding at the College.

In 2017, Woodvale Construction was enlisted to carry out extensive repair and remedial work to stabilise and prolong the life of the building, address various health and safety risks and bring it back to life as a functioning part of the College. The building now houses classrooms, a central courtyard and an impressive library. As well as retaining past heritage, renovation of this iconic building will enhance the learning experiences of all Methodist College pupils going forward.

This project won the Bronze Considerate Constructors Scheme 2018 National Site Award (Bronze Award, scoring 44) in which we were commended for “…reaching standards rarely seen in NI”. McArthur Hall was Highly Commended in the 2018 CEF Awards Restoration Category.  

Key Features:

  • We reused as much of the original building material as possible including roof slates, gutters and downpipes. Lead work features to the spire were salvaged and fitted back to the original timber finials
  • Specialist subcontractors were employed to carry out traditional building tasks such as carving and lime pointing. The project also included restoration of stained glass features, parquet flooring, exterior brick and stonework, and re-roofing
  • The clever services strategy integrated M&E provision with the building. Service interfaces were scheduled for weekends and holidays to accommodate College activities and reduce risk of fall out
  • Deliveries of building material left site with a back load of demolition waste to reduce transport impact Site deliveries were carefully scheduled to avoid congestion on site
  • Construction work was segregated with plywood hoarding and appropriate signage to manage the public impact of works
  • The remainder of Methodist College was operational throughout construction. Daily partnership meetings were held to accommodate school activities, student pickups and exams

Woodvale Methodist College from Woodvale Construction on Vimeo.

Key Project Information
Architect PHP Architects
Value £4m
Duration 19 months
Extra Information
Location Methodist College
Sectors Education
It has been a pleasure working with Woodvale. Having a trusting working relationship with the Contracts/Site/Cost Managers made management of changes much easier, exemplifying a great approach from the contracting team.
Kevin McNaull, Senior PM, Turner & Townsend