‘Poo coming through the walls’, ‘mushrooms growing in the kitchen’ and ‘a leaking pipe that flooded our rooms’ may seem more like dramatic descriptions from a telly programme than quotes from students describing Erasmus Park student village; but sadly, that was the reality for some freshers.
Erasmus Park is the only halls of residence available for Winchester School of Art students, there is no other option. The two blocks predominantly consist of vertical layout ‘houses’ with ten rooms to one kitchen, laid out over three floors, each room with an en-suite cupboard.
The en-suite cupboard is technically a shower room, but it is more than that, it is a room where you can sit on the toilet, wash your feet in the shower and use the sink all at the same time. We should be thankful though, as we did not have to share our cupboard with anyone else, if there were mysteriously short curly hairs in the plug hole, they must have been ours.
The quiet rumour of Erasmus Park being purchased by Southampton University from A2dominion has been well hidden from student ears, yet when the rumour was made official there were no announcements from either side; no messages of regret from the old owner, no message of triumph from the new. This subtlety and hush-hush reaction has prevented a huge celebration, until now.
Now that the students know that a change has happened, the transaction has taken place, there should be improvements in maintenance; something which previously would have taken a while to sort, should now be quicker, University staff should be on hand to help. Without so many outside contractors being brought in, the whole process should be more efficient and generally better for future freshers moving into Erasmus Park halls.
Stories of stains, of mould, of leaking pipes and awful showers should hopefully soon be replaced by tales of house parties, nights out, the close knit community feel and student happiness; things that have always been good about Erasmus Park, but things that were ruined by sometimes grim living conditions.
Peter Whiddon, Winchester (sites) officer is arranging a celebratory party. For more details, speak to Peter.