It is due to open next year as the University of Sheffield’s £81m state-of-the-art engineering complex.
Construction, though, has unearthed a reminder of the industrial past.
Seventy lorries of coal have been removed from the land which once accommodated part of the former Jessop Hospital.
It is part of the Silkstone coal seam, which outcropped onto the site.
Deposits were indicated in survey records before the project started, and a licence was obtained from the Coal Authority for it to be excavated and taken away.
In the event, 1,000 cubic metres of coal was discovered.
Local earthworks sub-contractor Hague segregated and set aside the usable coal at its Sheffield recycling depot for resale to the energy sector.
“All the coal has now been removed from site and the amount discovered was as anticipated, resulting in no net financial gain to the University or the project,” said Andrew Fallon, head of the estates department at the University.
The ‘world class’ engineering building is scheduled to open in September 2015 as the centrepiece of a £154m investment in the engineering facilities.
The council granted permission for the demolition of the grade II listed Edwardian extension to the old Jessop Hospital, despite strong opposition from conservationists who argued that it set a precedent for other listed buildings being knocked down.