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When is construction starting?

Phase four of the Portland Building refurbishment is already underway, with the transformation of NatWest into the Student Service Centre and Cherry Tree Lodge.

The Level C Dance Studio and SU Advice works will start on Friday 25 May.

Level A works will start on Monday 16 July.

Work will start on Level B Retail (East), Level C Get Involved and Media Centre, and Level E Bookable Spaces on Monday 2 July.

When will the refurbishment finish?

Practical completion for the whole project is scheduled for Monday 8 October.

Completion dates for the different areas are staggered due to the varying complexities and scales of the work. This will mean that more and more of the building will be opened for use as time progresses.

Scheduled completion dates:

  • Level A, Faith Zone – Friday 24 August
  • Level B, Retail – Friday 7 September
  • Level C, Get Involved Zone and Media Centre – Friday 14 September
  • Level D, Event Space – Friday 5 October
  • Level E, Bookable Spaces – Friday 31 August
  • Level E, Shhh Space and Yoga/Event space – Friday 5 October

How much of the building will I be able to access?

In the name of health and safety, all out-of-bounds areas will be clearly sectioned off during construction.

Level A (not including Mooch and the Chapel) will be closed.

Level B East (currently Print Shop and Societies and Sports) will be closed.

Most of Level C (currently the Student Hub, Lecture rooms and West Concourse) will be closed. The new Dance Studio, staff room and four new meeting rooms will be available from Friday 29 June.

Routes around the building could change during construction, but we’ll let you know as and when this happens.

As the refurbishment progresses and areas are completed, the building will become more and more accessible.

Where will the SU be during construction?

Staff currently located within the proposed construction areas will be temporarily relocated to Level E of the Hopkins Building.

The Print Shop will temporarily move to Level D of the Hopkins Building.

Bookable meeting spaces will be available in the Welcome Zone, old SU Advice space and the West Wing (above the Portland Coffee Co).

What actions have been conducted to mitigate against delay?

We’ve implemented learnings from previous phases throughout the planning phase of the project.

We’ve extended the invitation to tender to contractors that specialise in refurbishment works and working in an operational building.

The design drawings provided to the contractor contained extra detail. This will reduce the number of time-consuming clarifications.

The project team has undertaken increased planning.

We’ve conducted some preliminary work prior to the main construction work. It includes completing the SSC, Cherry Tree Lodge, Dance Studio and SU Advice works prior to the large area within Portland Building.

We’ve drawn up a relocations plan to make sure that we don’t delay the contractor.

What other impacts can I expect during the refurbishment?

All of the contractors who’ve tendered for the work are experienced with working in a fully operational building. However, as with any construction, there will be some noise. The project team has already made it clear to the potential contractors that extended noisy works are to be conducted out of hours.

The design has been developed to reduce the amount of large scale demolition work, so there should be less dust than in previous phases.

Dust will be apparent throughout the refurbishment, but the contractor is responsible for mitigating against it.

We’ll hold daily meetings with the contractor site manager to determine the types of work expected throughout the week, and we’ll let you know what’s happening when. This should enable you to plan meetings/activities in those spaces still accessible during the construction.

Any concerns relating to health and safety should be reported swiftly and directly to the SU PB Refurbishment PM.

What if I think of something that may have been missed in the design?

Once the contract has been awarded (on Friday 1 June), any major changes to the design will result in an increase in time or cost. This is not to say that you shouldn’t voice these opinions as there may be a solution that’s included within the scheme that aids in adapting your department activities.

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