Over the last few weeks, Mace (our contractors) have been working to finish specific areas of Cohen Quad ahead of handing the whole site over to us at the end of the calendar year.
Last week, focus was on snagging student bedrooms ahead of moving in furniture and fitting out the three student kitchens.
Two other key pieces of work were to build and install the pigeon holes that will be used by the Cohen Quad residents and to pave the Benson Quad and its amphitheatre steps. Each of these steps will be engraved with the names of donors who gave £7,000 or more during the 700th anniversary year and will provide a wonderful outdoor area adjacent to the café where students can sit out and enjoy a coffee – when it’s not raining of course!
Paving leading into the amphitheatre steps of Benson Quad
The pigeon holes
Eighty-six Exeter students will move into their brand new College accommodation in Cohen Quad in January 2017. The Quad will welcome its first students at the start of Hilary Term.
The original aim was that the 86 students plus staff and fellows would move into Cohen Quad in October 2016, at the start of Michaelmas Term. The site is constrained and the building and construction process very complex, and construction has taken longer than anticipated. Students are therefore currently being housed at Jury’s Inn, a hotel in north Oxford, which provides a supportive environment for them, with College staff on site every day, a common room established for the students, and free bus passes provided to assist with transport. Some students have recently been able to move into accommodation provided by other colleges, nearer to the centre of Oxford.
The Quad photographed by Fran Monks in November
The support of students – their academic and welfare needs – have been the College’s priorities throughout this period. To avoid unnecessary additional disruption, the students will continue to stay in either Jury’s Inn or their alternative student accommodation for the remainder of Michaelmas Term. They will move into their new accommodation at Cohen Quad after the Christmas vacation, for the start of Hilary Term.
In October a group of students visited Cohen Quad, all of whom will move into the accommodation in January. They were impressed with the building and they all remain excited to be living there next term and making use of the exceptional facilities that Cohen Quad offers. In the meantime, we’re providing support for all of our students and work continues on site apace.
Exeter JCR President Harry Williams, who is personally affected by the delays, commented, “Of course I was disappointed to hear that the development would not be completed on time, but I am pleased with the way the college have handled the situation so far.”
Students visiting Cohen Quad in October