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Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Major refurbishment work at Connaught Hall

A major programme of refurbishment will take place at Connaught Hall during the summer this year. The main work will involve:

 replacing the roof and water tanks on the top of the building;
 replacing the roof of the dining hall;
 painting the outside of the building;
 converting conference rooms, common rooms, and unused staff flats to 28 new student rooms for next year; and
 making the Bell Room and Bamforth Room our common rooms, the old fitness room into a library, and rearranging the computer room.

From 7 June, scaffolding will be erected outside the Hall to allow the roof works and repainting to take place. Please do not attempt to walk on the scaffolding at any time; this is dangerous and will be considered a disciplinary offence. The scaffolding will have intruder alarms fitted but to help prevent theft, please ensure that you keep your window closed at all times when you are not in your room.

From 10 June, specialist workers will begin to remove asbestos which was found in some of the work areas. The University of London adheres to the most rigorous safety procedures in dealing with asbestos; our asbestos policy goes beyond the legal requirements for safe handling of this material and all relevant regulations and safeguards will be followed throughout this work. You may see workers wearing masks and overalls. This is not cause for alarm; strict procedures are in place to ensure they do not contaminate other areas of the Hall. It is, however, extremely important that you do not try to enter any of the rooms where asbestos is being removed. Signs will be posted so you know where the work is taking place.

As with all maintenance and building matters, this refurbishment project has been organised and will be overseen by the Bursar's Office and the Estates & Facilities staff at the University of London.

However, as the member of staff responsible for your welfare in Hall, I have been consulted and kept informed throughout and can assure you that every possible measure has been taken to minimise disruption for those students staying in Hall (very nearly all of you will have left before the major work begins) and all necessary safety measures will be employed and closely monitored for the duration of the work.

I do not expect that noise will be an issue in the early stage of the refurbishment, but we will continue to provide quiet study areas 24/7 in case you do find a need to study somewhere other than in your room.

I am aware that the simple mention of asbestos can raise concerns for some people. We have detailed information available from the University's Health & Safety Manager if you remain concerned about this; simply contact or come to one of my open office sessions for a copy of his detailed description of the safety procedures that will be in place.

Thank you for your patience while this essential refurbishment work is carried out. Please let us know if it is causing problems for you and we will do what we can to help.