Image Credit: Maddie Thornham
A mass of intrusive scaffolding and disruptive construction work has taken over large areas of both Derwent and Vanbrugh College, particularly surrounding Block M and the outside area of Courtyard in Derwent, and Block B in Vanbrugh.
Construction work on Block A Eric Milner in Vanbrugh was carried out last year, and was completed before this year’s freshers arrived. However, it seems as though the University has not finished in its efforts to carry out repairs on the older accommodation blocks. These repairs, while being important in sustaining the quality of student accommodation, have a highly pervasive effect on student life: something that good, or even basic, student accommodation should not be burdened with.
Nouse contacted the University to ask whether students residing in these blocks were given any compensation or any discount on their rent prices, due to the inconveniences the construction works will likely cause. A representative of the University confirmed that:
“Students will not receive a discount in their rent as a result of this work, as their tenancy terms and conditions stipulate that improvement works can be carried out by the University in areas where they are in residence.”
We also spoke to one of the residents of B Block in Vanbrugh who said she was:
“Not particularly thrilled to not only be in the wrong college, but also one that’s being worked on.”
She had placed Vanbrugh as her second choice of accommodation, and was already disappointed regarding her allocated room, and was further disappointed due to the unruly scaffolding and construction work which surround her block.
According to a representative of the University, students were warned about the construction works prior to arriving at University as: “Information about the disruption was sent to residents when they received the email revealing which room they had been allocated.” However, this information was not relayed to students before they were able to make their room choices. This information would have allowed students to be fully aware of the current state of the accommodation before they chose it which, given that students in Vanbrugh can pay up to £6 000 per year in rent for their living quarters, is information that should have been provided prior to receiving their room allocations.
The University is not sure when the construction work will finish entirely, due to the “nature of the works”, however their representative told us that: “The works in Vanbrugh and Derwent are to carry out essential window repairs and are part of a long-term schedule of repairs. At present, we’re expecting these to be completed around Easter 2020.”