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Update on capital programme

11 April 2013

Deputy Vice-Chancellor David Clarke provides staff and students with an update on capital building projects across the University.

In January, I gave an update on works in progress in the University. I am now able to give a brief comment on further progress and to outline plans that we have for summer work to further improve the University estate for both staff and students.

I am pleased to report that progress continues to be on schedule on the work being undertaken in the Richmond Building. We have authorised the work for Phase 2, which we hope will complete in September 2013, and provide a renovated Anson Room while also completing the work on the North Wing of the building. The work to the Physics building on Tyndall Avenue is now largely complete, with some additional work on landscaping to now take place during the summer months.

Our plans for projects over the summer have now been settled. We will continue our programme of renovation and improvement to our branch libraries. We have authorised work to increase spaces and make improvements to the Medical Science and Chemistry libraries and we plan a significant major renovation to the Physics branch library. This will be in addition to the current work in the Wills Memorial library where Phase 1 is now complete, and the library as a whole re-opened to students, and Phase 2 will commence in June this year and should be ready at the start of the teaching term September 2013.

We will also continue our programme of major refurbishment of our lecture theatres. The most significant improvements will be in the auditorium in the Victoria Rooms which, by replacement and improvement in seating and lighting in particularly, as well as audio projection, will be available for lectures from next year. This goes alongside the application for planning permission (now made) for a new lecture theatre at the rear of Priory Road.

Work will take place during the summer to the University buildings on Tyndalls Park Road (namely 30-32 and 34) to provide additional staff rooms and quality teaching facilities for the Faculties of Social Sciences and Law and Arts respectively. The Faculty of Arts will also be allocated space in the redecorated Cotham House to take account of the expansion of students and staff in that Faculty.

The International Foundation programme has just moved from 30-32 Tyndalls Park Road to its new accommodation in the Richmond Building.

Our final major project over the summer will be to the basement of Senate House where the Estates Office will complete their move to the refurbished space at Old Park Hill. This allows the basement of Senate House, including the Senate Room, to be transformed into a 24/7 study space for students and we will include the landscaping of the space between Senate House and The Hawthorns. An additional 100 study spaces for students, about 70 per cent of it being silent and quiet personal space, will be created but there will also be some group learning space and a small social learning space as well with laptop lockers available within the area. We hope this provision will be available at the start of the teaching term in September 2013. When completed, this will improve further the ratio of study spaces to students.

We will be continuing a programme to reduce energy consumption. During the Summer of 2013 the focus will be on the Langford estate but we will also be improving the heating in more of the villas on Woodland Road.

Have a good term!

David Clarke

Deputy Vice-Chancellor


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