Students housed in some of the most expensive accommodation on campus have endured repeated incidences of flooding. The students, housed in Derwent’s D Block, pay £136.29 per week and moved in just days after the block’s completion.
The contractors who carried out the repair and maintenance work had said that they had “resolved the problems with D block plumbing”. However, the ground floor corridor continues to flood and all three floors currently have at least one unusable facility.
A University spokesperson confirmed that there had been plumbing problems, but refused to comment on why or how the problems had emerged. They stressed that: “alternative shower facilities exist elsewhere on the floor.”
Bob Hughes, YUSU Welfare Officer, has revealed he is worried “that the problems are taking longer than they should to be sorted” and that the “University needs to act swiftly to ensure minimum discomfort and inconvenience to students.”
The University is compelled to employ external contractors to undertake building work. Residents have been told their plumbing issues are “not due to any fault in the fitting of toilets and showers.”
It stated that the problem on the ground floor was, “due to a hairline crack in a shower tray in a shower cubicle on the second floor,” continuing that the causes of which remain “unknown”. They stated their intention to fit a new shower in the immediate future.
However, many discontented inhabitants believe the contractors are at fault.
On arrival, one resident claims she watched maintenance remove an Aqua Hoover and was informed by a member of maintenance staff that due to deadlines, the contractors had handed over the facilities straight to the University, without a full inspection from Estates. Derwent’s Provost Rob Aitken refutes this claim and the University’s Estates manager was not prepared to comment.
Matt Jenkins, Derwent College JCRC Chair, commented that he, “was reassured that everything had been fully checked” and has resolved to support any, “problems that were only discovered once people moved in.”
The students involved in D Block wish to remain anonymous, for fear of impeding any possible future repair work. However, one student maintains her “accommodation has great potential” but has “too many problems” at such an early stage. She was locked in her room for two hours until the lock was broken with a crowbar.
“[the] University needs to act swiftly to ensure minimum discomfort and inconvenience to students
YUSU welfare officer – Bob Hughes
This has happened to students in D block on five separate occasions. Building work continues as the roof is finalised, which for many D block residents means noise “every morning.” One resident stated that “I feel like I am paying to live in a building site.”
Students were informed by email that the blockage of one particular shower was “caused by the misuse of facilities, presumably a resident” who “had been sick in the shower, urinated into the shower tray and tried to wash away the debris by turning on the shower.”
However the residents insist this particular shower was already blocked by a “yellow liquid” when they moved in and “don’t understand” why they have been accused of misusing facilities as the problems emerged “the first time they were used.”
One resident has been forced to shower in C Block as her own shower “never gets fixed.” This is despite several visits from the contractors.
Additionally, radiators on the third floor have only been functioning since Thursday and many residents have complained about the lack of insulation caused by ill fitted windows.
The University is in the process of evaluating whether the problems are “purely down to student misuse