You may have seen that the LSU Building has temporarily closed its doors to students and the public while we give the building a little face-lift.
While the building works are progressing at a pace, and the downstairs of LSU is transforming, we thought we’d share an update about why we’ve chosen to renovate the space, and when we’re hoping to welcome you back into your new-look Students’ Union building.
A strategic space for all students
Back in 2019, when we began to create our five-year strategy to take us up to 2025, one of our eight areas of strategic focus was to deliver:
‘enough of the right kind of space, with the right equipment, to facilitate student activities.
Several years of student feedback has highlighted the need for a more practical and versatile space to enable a range of student activities on-campus. While the current LSU building has been our beloved home for the past 47 years, and the location for so many memories of nights out, it isn’t the versatile space our student members want or need. And don’t get us started on the leak in the Piazza roof…
We began working with the University to secure the funding for a new LSU building, whilst research and focus groups with our student members discovered a number of key requirements for a new Students’ Union building. These requirements asked for the creation of an inclusive, open, bright and airy space which would be suitable for a broad range of activities with more opportunities for the space to be utilised during the daytime.
A spanner in the works
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been felt by us all, on so many levels. It’s also significantly impacted LSU and our income, plus had many implications for the University including our abilities to progress, under the original timeline, to create a new Student’s Union building.
These disappointing setbacks can’t deter us from achieving our strategic goals and creating a new space for our students. We made the decision to sell the Nursery earlier this year, and to use the proceeds to redevelop our current Union Building, insuring it’s fit for purpose for our students, staff and strategy for many years to come. In February 2021 we held consultations with student volunteers and representatives to ensure the renovation aligned with student’s needs. We got the green light, and broke ground on the project!
A bright ‘new’ building
We’ve split our building renovations into three phases:
Phase 1: Renovations to the downstairs of LSU including the reception area, gallery doors, Piazza, Cogs and Room 1
Phase 2: Renovations to Fusion
Phase 3: Renovations to JCs
Phase 1 of the renovations has already begun, and project completion has been planned to coincide with social restrictions easing in mid-May.
The focus of these renovations is to create an insight led, multi-purpose and versatile student space. Steps that have been taken to achieve this include relocating The Daily Grind Coffee Shop to the old Santander Space, removing the gallery doors (A,B,C,D doors), replacing the flooring and opening up the space throughout the existing Piazza area to create additional multi-purposes spaces for study, socialising and performance.
We’re working on some before and after videos, to show you how we’ve transformed the space, but until we’ve completed the works, we’ll leave it to an artist’s interpretation:
The floorplan of the new rennovations to the reception, gallery doors and Piazza areas.
An interpretation of the new Piazza area.
An interpretation of the space replacing the old reception and gallery doors area.
We can’t wait to show you the new and improved space when we reveal phase 1 of our new look in mid-May.