University News in Brief for Students
Thursday 13 August 2009

This edition of Student News in Brief is mainly about keeping you updated on how the University’s £270 million investment plans will unfold over the summer. We’ll update you all again at the start of term.

Forum go-ahead
Plans for The Forum Project were recently given approval by Exeter City councillors. The work on the new location for the Biosciences Greenhouses is already under way, and further preparatory work will take place over the summer vacation, including moving the Xpression FM studios to a new location in Devonshire House and the removal of some trees to enable the construction, for example along the route of a new single track service road leading from Prince of Wales Road to the back of Devonshire House. Preparatory work will continue during the Autumn Term, mainly to do with re-routing gas and electricity mains and creating new temporary retail units. The main building work starts in January 2010 and is due to be completed in December 2011.

Exhibit Forum
If you want to have a peek at The Forum Project before it’s even built – there will soon be a new virtual exhibition available on our Forum Project website. You will be able to browse through the plans for every floor of the Forum project and hover your cursor over sections to give you more information about that particular aspect of the build.

We mean Business
The contract for the Business School’s new building and other works has been awarded to Bam Construction. The Streatham Court car park has therefore been closed. The development forms part of a £25 million investment in the Business School to support its ambitious expansion plans.

Parking facilities
Construction work on the new INTO University of Exeter international student centre is yet to commence, so the Stocker Road car park is now likely to remain open until further notice. For information on our minibus service see our Transport Services webpage.

Bio the way
Construction work has been underway for the past twelve months at the School of Biosciences. At present contractors Midas are working on the basement and four floors. The under-floor heating and drainage systems for the new state-of-the-art aquariums are being installed. Throughout the project they’ve worked successfully with staff to refurbish working environments – the latest is installing windows within a busy laboratory by sealing part of it off. Over the next few weeks Midas will fit out the interiors of the new laboratory spaces. The work represents a £25 million investment in bio-sciences and is part of the University’s Science Strategy. The whole project is set to be completed in the autumn of 2010.

More Beds
Enabling works have been completed at Birks Grange which is a project by private company University Partnerships Programme (UPP). UPP is a specialist at providing student accommodation. The project at Birks will provide more than 800 bed spaces. Planning permission has also been granted for a scheme to rebuild most of the Lafrowda residences with work due to start in 2010 and be completed by September 2011.

Mood improvements
Plans have been submitted to Exeter City Council for a new internationally-competitive research facility for the Mood Disorders Centre at the School of Psychology. The new £3.6 million facility at Washington Singer will be funded by The Wellcome Trust. The aim is to improve psychological interventions for mood and personality disorders, such as depression and bipolar disorder. Up to 400 people a year could have the chance to take part in treatment via clinical research. A decision on the planning application should reach us soon. It will then be referred back to The Wellcome Trust for final approval and it’s hoped work would start in January 2010.

New name for old
Research Commons has been approved by the University as the new name for the world-class research library facility currently being created through this summer's £2 million refurbishment project of library space in the Old Library Building. ROK started on the work in July and the main project should be completed by September. Services and collections remain open throughout the refurbishment project. The Research Commons - a place the research community holds in common - will provide space, collections and support for research. There will also be social break-out and exhibition space for knowledge exchange activities.

Haighton Library Refurbishment on Track
Since May 2009 a £1m refurbishment project has been taking place at the Haighton Library on St. Luke’s campus. On completion, this refurbishment will provide a variety of improved study spaces, self-issue services, CCTV, a new library services desk, more intuitive layout as well as improved fittings and furnishings. Housing for a number of student facing services is also being created as part of this development. The refurbishment is progressing as per schedule and is scheduled for completion on the 20th September. A temporary library has been created in the Dance Studio at St Luke’s. More information is available at the Library Redevelopment web-pages.

Main Library Redevelopment Planning
Planning has been taking place to ensure that the redevelopment of the Main Library on Streatham Campus provides a facility befitting of a ‘Top-10’ University. The aim is to create an environment suited to the various types of study required, ensuring that our collections are managed in a logical and easy-to-locate fashion, whilst allowing students and staff to exploit the latest technologies available. It’s anticipated that the floors will be updated on an individual basis, allowing the library to operate throughout the Forum development. Current plans state that the lower floor will be refurbished between June and December 2010, the upper floor between December 2010 and June 2011 and the ground floor between June and December 2011. More information is available at the Library Redevelopment web-pages.

Let’s talk
As part of the University’s commitment to keeping students, staff, residents and the wider community informed of developments, former ITV Westcountry Environment Correspondent Jo Cole has joined the team. Jo has 18 years experience working as a reporter for ITV, the BBC and Western Morning News. She started in June as Communications Officer for the capital projects.

Let’s listen
Once the Autumn Term is underway we will be setting up student focus groups for each of the main projects. The groups will meet regularly while the main projects are under construction and will be a valuable source of feedback and discussion. We hope to get a good cross section of students volunteering to take part. University staff, The Guild and contractors have already been working closely together to ensure the construction phase goes as smoothly as possible and these groups will be a welcome addition to the process. Details about how to take part will be issued nearer the time.

Summer safety
During the summer period the University is much quieter than normal. Be aware of your personal safety if you need to use a room that is isolated. Also please be careful about walking through secluded areas of our campuses. If at any time you feel concerned about your safety, ring the Exeter’s Estate Patrol on x3999 (01392 263999) or in Cornwall ring 1400 or 07768 557779.

Money matters
The School of Psychology is inviting students to take part in a study about student debt. It entails filling in a short on-line survey which will take around twenty minutes to complete. All participants who choose to leave their email address at the end will be entered into a draw to win one of two £100 cash prizes. If you would like to take part, please complete the online survey by the end of August.

This newsletter is also available on-line at Previous editions are available at Contributions for the next newsletter should be sent to Abigail Dixon, Communications Officer,