SUSU has recently received confirmation from the University that Chamberlain Halls will no longer be in use as of this year. This means that no new Freshers will be resident at Chamberlain halls. Plans for the future of what exactly replaces Chamberlain are still being discussed. The following report has been given to Billy FitzJohn, Union President who has shared the information with the Wessex Scene. Any questions or comments can be directed to Billy at firstname.lastname@example.org. JCRs and staff at Chamberlain have been informed of this move and have now entered discussions as to what this means specifically for them. We will update you when more information is available; the current picture SUSU have is encompassed in the document below.
University of Southampton – investing in the student experience
The University regularly reviews its provision of student accommodation to ensure that we are able to provide good quality, modern and affordable study bedrooms for our students.
We are aware that some of our older properties will require significant investment to maintain these standards into the future. As a result, we have been looking closely at our provision of residential accommodation, as well as at the demand from current and future students for different types of accommodation, particularly with regard to factors such as the availability of en suite or self catering facilities.
In recent years, demand for places in halls has risen and we are exploring options to increase the number of rooms available for students, taking pressure off the city’s private housing market. We believe that this demand is sufficiently strong for the University to invest further in its own provision of student residences, as well as actively seeking opportunities to work with private providers such as Liberty Living and Bouyges to supply additional rooms.
A review of the University’s Chamberlain Hall of Residence, which was built in the 1950s, has shown that, without major investment, the building is reaching the end of its natural life, and is highly inefficient in terms of its running costs and carbon footprint. In contrast to other University residences of a similar age or older, simple refurbishment is not a viable option.
We are, therefore, preparing for Chamberlain Hall to be taken out of use at the end of this academic year and will be consulting on proposals for the building and site with our students and those of our neighbours whose homes are close by. Surveys are currently underway to provide appropriate information for a range of options to be considered.
We can confirm that the site will remain as student residential accommodation but until we have had the opportunity to consult with our students and neighbours, we do not know what facilities will be included at Chamberlain Hall in the future.
A set of options for Chamberlain Hall will be developed following consultation with students, internal stakeholders, and nearest neighbours. We will explore a wide range of options from refurbishment of existing facilities to a full rebuild on the site.
Whilst Chamberlain is out of use, the University is taking an additional 159 rooms with Liberty Living at Orion’s Point to replace the closed bedrooms. We have been working with Liberty Living for the past 2 years and students have reported favourably on their experience. Liberty were named as the best private hall provider in the National Student Housing Survey and so we are confident that Liberty Living provides both the quality of accommodation and experience that we would want for our students
Glen Eyre will become a fully self-catered site when Chamberlain closes, as this will also mean the closure of the dining hall. The changing requirements of our students for catering other than traditional dining hall facilities supports this planned closure.
When Chamberlain closes on 1 July 2011, the student bar facility will be amalgamated with that of Glen Eyre Hall.
■ Chamberlain has 160 bedrooms
■ We have increased the number of rooms at Liberty Living from 150 to 309.
■ The catered accommodation at Glen Eyre is J block (90 rooms). We are investing in improving the kitchen facilities in this block to be able to offer them as self catered accommodation.
■ In addition 70 rooms in South Hill have been offered as catered for the last 4 years. These were purpose built as self catered so require no work to return them to self catered.
■ We are offering 108 of our existing ensuite rooms at Wessex Lane as catered from 2011. This is to meet the demand for catered ensuite rooms from students. Overall this change in provision will provide a better match between supply and demand for catered accommodation
■ Liberty Living – from 2011 the cost of a uni-link pass will be included with the rent as for our own halls
■ We have funding from Liberty Living towards JCR activities at Orions Point next year
■ We will be consulting with students about what a hall of residence should include to help is formulate our plans for Chamberlain Hall.