University Confirms Chamberlain Halls will be “out of use” from July

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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 pres@susu.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.

Chamberlain Hall

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.

Additional facts

■      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.

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Discussion9 Comments

  1. avatar

    Good news. Speaking from experience of running the Accommodation Hotline last year, taking on all of Liberty Living’s rooms is a positive step – the biggest complaint last year was that it was mixed with Solent students. Given that Liberty offers an Ensuite room, in the centre of town for £101, its a pretty damn good deal, and now its all Southampton, all one block – possibly could be the best place to live next year.

    The problem will be how Glen Eyre halls have their kitchens converted into being used regularly…

  2. avatar

    I was in Orion’s Point for my first year and I absolutely loved it, despite being very dubious at first. The fact that they will now be providing a Bus Pass, and all Southampton Uni students living in one block, is a briliant idea (I sometimes resented having to pay for my bus pass, being the furthest halls from the campus). I agree with Sasha, it’ll probably prove to be a very popular choice. I am very pleased that more students will have the experience of living with Liberty Living.

  3. avatar

    Its a shame to see the hall with probably the best atmosphere closing. The sense of community is pretty much second to none. What is going to happen to the “Chamberlain Identity” in the form of the JCR etc? Will it be amalgamated with glen eyre or exist as a “small hall”?

  4. avatar

    Best halls ever, sad to see them closed. Won’t be able to recreate the such a good value catered accommodation with an amazing bar and community spirit.

  5. avatar

    Without trying to sound biased, being a resident here, you simply can’t beat Chamberlain with atmosphere. Despite the place being old, rooms are spacious and still retain a lot of character.

    I’m sure Orion’s Point will be great, but the Chamberlain charm can’t be replicated.

  6. avatar

    Despite the atmosphere being lost from Chamberlain it won’t go altogether as it’ll just move to other catered halls. As it currently stands Highfield has a similar atmosphere but it seems not many people know about Highfield, but with it and Connaught being the only real catered halls left it may prove to become more well known.

    But Chamberlain does have nice character to it and I’m sure those who are living there this year will cherish being the 53rd and final year to live there.

  7. avatar

    I initially booked for 6 weeks and then needed to add an extra day on so I was told that I could move into one room on my first night and then into another on the 2nd night for the rest of my stay, upon arrival I was then told I could stay in the same room for the duration of my stay. After a full week I came home to find that Liberty Living (St John) street had moved all my stuff into another room.

    This was done without my knowledge, all my personal belongings had been thrown into a bag, so a stanger had gone through my things, all my food I had bought was put into another fridge without having switched the fridge on and it had all gone off.

    I had money as well as other personal belongings in my room. This was a total invasion of my privacy. The manager and his staff were very unhelpful and felt that it was their right to go into a room they had put me in and move all my things into another one without my knowledge and consent.

    If you like surprises like getting home to find that strangers have gone through your things, chucked them in boxes and moved them to another room, then this place is for you.

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