Central Hall is getting a multi-million pound overhaul, with the first stage of the three-year plan getting underway in earnest last May.
Engineering company Britcon has been appointed to revamp the campus relic. The 10-week project consists of a general upgrade of the electrical and mechanical infrastructures, the removal of asbestos, and replacing all the windows with curtain walls – justified as the improvement of energy efficiency within the building.
However, there have been concerns over the impact the rennovations could have on student societies, especially those like Central Hall Music Society that rely on using the space for performances.
Student President Millie Beach commented: “YUSU have been actively involved in ensuring that the renovations to Central Hall are done in the interest of students and our student groups. Our societies, and in particular our music and performance societies, have suffered disproportionately from the closure, and we will continue to ensure that the University is made aware of just how valuable these societies are, and what a loss they would be to campus if they chose to perform elsewhere.
“We have specifically requested to be involved in the process moving forward and hope that consultation is being taken seriously as the renovations will have a huge impact on societies and students.”
A University spokesperson elaborated on the plans:”The first phase of work in 2017 is now approaching completion and will cost £900K. This first phase has focused on upgrading mechanical and electrical systems, removing asbestos and replacing the external glazing system.
“Future phases will see work to upgrade and improve lighting and ventilation in the auditorium, improved accessibility, refurbished and renewed seating throughout the auditorium, new staging, reconfiguration of the concourse/ main entrance space and all round uplift of déc o r, fixtures and fittings.”