Cornwall House works hinder student activities

Image: Niklas Rahmel
Image: Niklas Rahmel

DELAYS to the summer works to Cornwall House have resulted in disruptions to student society activities. The works that were initially scheduled for completion on 31st August are now set to be finally handed over on 11th October, due to “unforeseen problems.”

Dance society, Kung Fu and Music societies are all known to have registered their concerns with the Guild about activities being disrupted or cancelled due to the construction work.

Liz Moore of Kung Fu Society, said: “It has become very clear that communications between the University and the Guild have been insufficient.”

Ian Millar, Head of Buildings stated in response to the delays: “This is very disappointing as we had hoped to wow Freshers and returning students alike with the finished building from the start of term. However we have worked very hard with Guild staff to mitigate the effects of the delay and ensure that all events can go ahead as planned.”

The project had three objectives, namely improving energy efficiency and structural maintenance, the relocation of Music from Knightley and the construction of a new Marketplace and Fresh Ideas office. These were funded by separate budgets totalling £1.7 million including VAT and fees. A £1 million loan was won from a HEFCE energy efficiency initiative to part fund the project, which is currently on course to be successfully delivered within budget.

Ian Millar also stated; “Estate Development Service (EDS) are delighted that we will shortly be taking the wraps off the new-look Cornwall House. On completion it will look clean and crisp, a building that the University and the Guild can be proud of.

The completed building will hope to boast greater soundproofing internally and externally, will have reduced energy usage and a reduction in carbon consumption of 185 tonnes a year.

“We consulted very widely with all levels of the Guild, students and Campus Services to develop the proposals and have worked closely with Guild staff on site all summer, to ensure that any inconvenience and disruption is minimised.”

Jak Curtis-Rendall, VP Participation and Campuses, commented “I am disappointed that the University’s external contractors remain behind in the scheduled improvements to Cornwall House, particularly now term has begun. This affected a small number of Freshers’ Week events and continues to impact on our student groups who require this vital space. While these delays are outside our control, the Students’ Guild is working hard to mitigate the effects on student activities as work continues.”

Emma Holifield, a third year member of BodySoc, told Exeposé: “Members often turn up to classes only to find the location has been suddenly changed. With several hundred members attending classes, this can be a huge problem which can turn people off coming back to classes, particularly in the first few weeks of term.”

The University have stated that Campus Services will be monitoring energy usage and carrying out occupancy feedback exercises for the next 12 months and would be very glad to receive any feedback on the building.

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Author: Louis Doré

Freelance Journalist studying at City University, London on MA Newspaper Journalism.

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