VC's week - 19 November 2012 - New undergraduate Library, St Mark’s Residences and It All Adds Up

The Vice-Chancellor has only recently returned from a visit to China, so Director of Facilities Management Dennis Hopper writes this week’s diary.

Dennis Hopper

After many months of hard work and negotiation, the plans for the University’s new undergraduate Library have been submitted to the city Council. We expect to have a decision early in the new year and, all being well, building work will begin in Spring 2013. The four-storey, landmark building will have entrances on Woodhouse Lane and Hillary Place. It has been designed to complement its surroundings, and I’m especially pleased that the final plans incorporate a Portland stone finish that echoes the Parkinson, Engineering and Chemistry buildings.

The designs are on display in the Centenary Gallery in the Parkinson Building today (19 November) from 1-4.30pm, so go along and have a look (you can also see them on the library website). If you have any questions or comments, library staff will be on hand to talk about the features of the building and the facilities it will provide.

The Library – which will have 1,000 study spaces – is expected to take 18-months to build. As with any project on this scale, there will be some disruption, but I think the end result will be stunning and a visible sign of our commitment to invest in the student experience.

Building work on St Mark’s Flats forges ahead and they should be ready for the 2013-14 intake. The flats, which are aimed mainly at postgraduate students, will enhance our residential portfolio and house 530 students with high-quality accommodation right next to the campus.

Providing our students and staff with excellent facilities to work, study, relax and live will continue to play a vital role in the success of the University. Following the current strategy map review, I’ll be seeking to refresh the Estates and Facilities strategy. This will involve consulting staff, students and other stakeholders to find out how they would like the campus to develop in the coming years. I’d urge you to think about what you’d like to see at Leeds and make sure you have your say.

Finally, look out for the second phase of the It All Adds Up campaign. Without giving too much away, it aims to encourage people to take direct action that changes the way they work and use energy across campus. I’m really looking forward to seeing how the campaign progresses and hope it will inspire you, too.

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