The University of Southampton has been awash with builders as several building works take place.
Both the University and the Students’ Union, SUSU, have several construction and refurbishment projects currently underway, hopefully leading to an improved experience when students return to the campus in a little under a month’s time.
Perhaps the most noticeable project undergoing is the refurbishment of the entrance hall of the Hartley Library. Throughout the work, the entrance to the building has relocated to a side door and several collections have had to be moved to alternate levels. The end result will include an additional 78 study desks for work and a larger seating area outside the library ‘Lattes’ cafe for the breaks between studying. Other features include a bigger course collection and hold area, and a reconfigured layout of the photocopying area and all toilets on the level. According to a running blog, written by the library staff about the changes, the library is scheduled to reopen on the 12th September.
Another project is an extension to the R J Mitchell Wind Tunnel to provide a more suitable presence for the research facility which has in recent years been used by everyone from James May to the British cycling team. The work is to improve the experience for those external researchers using the facility, including a new entrance and viewing gallery. Designed by Studio Four architects, it is set to open before the new term.
SUSU has also been busy with building work in both union buildings. A new membership hub is being created in Building 40 above the Stag’s Head that will see new spaces and resources for societies and a combined office space for the Student Activities, Democracy and Advice Centre parts of the union with one access point. In addition, the ‘Old’ sports hall on level one of Building 42 will see a general refurbishment and have a new floor laid.
It is not, however, solely Highfield that is seeing the benefits. £750,000 is being invested into rennovating the student facilities at the Winchester School of Art, allowing a new space for students in Winchester at the centre of the campus. Pictures of the development, which is also due to be completed in time for the new term, were released two days ago in a blog by Oli Coles, VP Student Communities.