Asbestos in V-Bar prevents new URY equipment

Asbestos has been forced to halt plans to install new speakers. Photo: Justyn Hardcastle

Asbestos has been forced to halt plans to install new speakers. Photo: Justyn Hardcastle

It has been revealed that asbestos present in the walls of V-Bar has caused a halt to plans to install speakers to stream University Radio York (URY) across the space.

While an agreement was reached that the University would enable a system and install the necessary equipment for the broadcasting of the radio station in the venue, Alex Williams, Head of Computing at URY, told Nouse that to accomplish this, “estates needed to lay an extra networking cable, to be able to operate the tills and radio at the same time.

“Laying an extra cable meant drilling and threading through walls riddled with asbestos.”

The presence of asbestos throughout the University buildings has been a concern to many students at York, and ensures that the renovation of buildings such as the library has been made increasingly difficult for fear of disturbing the asbestos that exists within the walls.

Williams continued to comment on further issues: “While this was being sorted, the bar manager purchased a small music-streaming device – the same as are used in The Courtyard and YourShop, and were assured once the cable was down, they could plug it into their hifi system and would receive a high quality stream of our radio station. The one flaw in this plan, is that the V-Bar hifi system is wired right into the jukebox.”

In a statement regarding the situation, a University spokesman commented : “Buildings across the University campus do contain asbestos but this is inevitable given the widespread use of asbestos as a building material for much of the 20th Century. Any building, including homes, schools and hospitals, constructed before 2000 can contain asbestos.

“We have always been open that there is asbestos on campus but it is not the presence, but the management of asbestos which is the key to safety and we have a comprehensive strategy in place to meet the duty of care we have to our staff and students.”

He continued: “In the particular case of the speakers in V-Bar: there are speakers in place but the wiring needed for them to work has not been done. We are in the process of drawing up plans to ensure that the necessary work can be completed safely.

“Any work on the fabric of the buildings at the University needs to be appropriately assessed to ensure all potential risks are addressed. These risks may include aspects such as buried services and potentially asbestos.”

First year English student, Liberty Paterson, commented: “It’s always pretty alarming to hear stories about asbestos, particularly in somewhere so constantly full of students, like V-Bar. It would be great to have URY playing there if possible, the University really should sort it out”.

Another second year student also stated: “If the University were actually bothered, I’m sure they could easily sort out speakers for URY, particularly since the issue has been going on for quite a while now. I really think it would add to the atmosphere of the bar.”

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