County’s UPPset over construction works


Students of The County College have expressed their concern and annoyance at the scheduling of construction works in the County Main building during the campus-wide Quiet Period.

SCAN received numerous reports of academic staff and students residing and working in the vicinity of the construction works experiencing disruption and frustration at the timing of the works’ schedule.

The annual hush descends across campus in order to allow students to revise for exams and meet assessment deadlines without having to contend with high levels of extraneous noise. The summer term is a potentially stressful time for the many students facing hours of revision sessions, late-night cramming and frantic typing as the academic year reaches its fraught climax.

The refurbishment entailed work being undertaken on two of the retail units on the ground floor of County Main building and on seminar room 10, also on the ground floor. The spaces were scheduled to reopen at the end of May as the new offices for University Partnerships Programme (UPP), which is responsible for the management of campus accommodation on Alexandra Park and in County and Grizedale Townhouses.

The work has now been completed, and County College Residence Officer Jacqui Brian made it clear that, in the event, noise disruption lasted only one week.

Students of the County College were forewarned of the planned works, which had been scheduled to take place during the Easter vacation but were delayed until Week Three of the Summer term and scheduled to last up to three weeks. Brian told students, “[T]here were complications and unfortunately [the work] cannot wait until the summer.” Communicating to SCAN, Brian elucidated further: “Apparently UPP were ready to move over the Easter vacation but were told they couldn’t.”

Brian was forced to apologise on behalf of the College and UPP to students affected by noise disturbances caused by the construction works. Whilst acknowledging the poor timing of the works in clashing with the Quiet Period, Brian assured residents that the work was “urgent” and “essential”, and that the maintenance work involved would entail “minimal” noisy activities such as drilling and hammering. She added:

“Please can I just remind you all that “Quite Period” is designed to keep noise down in and around the residences. It does not including essential grounds work, i.e grass cutting, deliveries,  and the usual day to day running of the University.”

In correspondence with SCAN, Brian stated that only one complaint had been received by the College Residence Office, which suggests that much of the dissatisfaction remained informal and off-record.

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