Work starts on Roehampton’s £34m library

Work has officially started to create the University of Roehampton’s brand new purpose built library

The £34million, four-storey building will be built in the heart of Digby Stuart College, in the centre of the campus. It is due to be completed in autumn 2017, meaning current first year students will be the first to use the state-of-the-art facilities. 

Susan Scorey, the University’s Librarian, said: “I’m delighted that work is now under way to build our brand new library for students and staff. It’s going to be a real success story, and it’s a symbol of the commitment the whole University has made to high standards of academic achievement and research. 

“We’ve promised the best facilities and resources available to help students secure an excellent degree and give them the critical thinking skills which employers value. Opening a brand new library is the clearest possible way we can show we mean what we say.” 

Dr Ghazwa Alwani-Starr, Director of Estates and Campus Services at the University of Roehampton, said: “We’re pleased to see work getting under way on the site and working with Osborne we’re looking forward to watching it rise up in the centre of our campus during the next 18 months. Our current first year students will be the first to use the new library when it opens in autumn 2017, which is particularly pleasing.”

ABOVE: Vice-Chancellor Paul O’Prey (in cab). Left to right: Susan Scorey, University Librarian; Reggie Blennerhassett, Director of Finance; Dr Ghazwa Alwani-Starr, Director of Estates; Andrew Osborne, Chairman of Osborne construction firm

Features of the new library will include:

  • Around 1,060 study spaces, up from 760 in the existing library.
  • Group study areas and conversational levels of noise on the ground floor.
  • Individual silent study spaces on the fourth floor.
  • 24/7 opening hours during peak study times and until midnight during term time.
  • More of the University’s collection of 350,000 books and journals will be available.
  • Improved navigation of the building and collections, because of the purpose built design.
  • New resources which are future-proofed for the rise in online studying.

The whole complex will be bright, light, modern and designed specifically with the way Roehampton students learn and study in mind. Plenty of plug and USB charger sockets will be available for students with their own devices, and public computers will also be available.

People living in Roehampton and further afield will be welcome to study in the library and use its books. Students from other universities in the UK and worldwide will be also be welcomed, furthering the University’s international approach to sharing knowledge. 

The Library will also allow greater scope for the use and display of some of the University’s special collections, such as the Froebel Archive, Richmal Compton Collection, The Centre for Marian Studies covering all matters regarding the Virgin Mary, the Queen’s Archive, featuring material on governance within the Roman Catholic Church in the UK and the Jewish Resource Centre Collection. 

The Library is being built by the University’s contractor Osborne. While construction takes place, the current Library will continue to operate as normal, including its 24/7 opening times during peak study periods.

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