Over the last three years we have made significant improvements to our campus estate, most notably through new builds; the Emily Wilding Davison and Beatrice Shilling Buildings and George Eliot Hall.
The recent new builds have released space that, when refurbished, will bring wider benefits to our community. Work has started on repurposing the former Bedford Library and the refurbishment of the McCrea Building will follow. Detailed planning for a new media and music building has started, and we are reviewing options to find a solution to the challenges of studying and working in the Bourne Building.
Whilst these large projects get underway, feedback, including from the last staff engagement survey, has identified concerns that can be addressed in a relatively shorter timeframe.
In response to frustrations about meeting room availability, from September, during term time, all meeting rooms will be bookable through Timetabling. This will make it easier to identify suitable available spaces and means using just one system to liaise with one team.
The Employee Engagement Steering Group has also been investigating colleagues’ desire for increased social spaces. As a result, Founder’s East Reading Room will be renovated to create a space for colleagues and post-graduate research students.
The work will start in August and be completed by Easter 2019. The space will maintain the heritage of the building while providing over one hundred seats of varying types. The result will be a highly flexible space, allowing for various activities to take place at the same time.
This summer also sees the start of the renovation of the Founder’s West Reading Rooms – the original Royal Holloway library. When complete in the autumn, the room will be returned to its original use, providing additional study spaces for students alongside the 1,250 available in the Davison Building.
The renovation of both reading rooms will retain what is largely their original condition, ensuring that we remain responsible custodians of the Founder’s Building, while adapting it to meet modern needs.
Professor Paul Layzell