Thursday, 3 July 2014

Bridges Hall Redevelopment – information for residents #rdguk

I know some residents have concerns about Bridges Hall reopening. Information on a meeting organised by the University below.

Bridges Hall Redevelopment – Project Completion – Information for nearby residents

We are pleased to confirm that the construction of the new Bridges Hall is now complete, two months ahead of schedule. We would like to thank neighbours for their patience and tolerance whilst the redevelopment works have been completed. The new hall provides excellent modern accommodation for our students and sits well within the campus setting. Enclosed with this update is an invitation to view the new hall and to meet key staff.

Over the summer vacation period we will be accommodating international students. The hall will then be made ready to welcome new students, a range of undergraduate and postgraduate students, for the main academic year in September.

We appreciate that many of our neighbours have a number of questions about the impact of the new hall. The evening on the 16th July is a great opportunity to come and discuss these in person, however we realise that not everyone will be able to come. We have also prepared therefore a summary of some of the main concerns we are aware of and tried to address these, as follows:

Bridges Hall Redevelopment Invitation to the Local Community

The University of Reading and UPP (University Partnerships Programmes) are pleased to invite local residents to visit our new hall on

Wednesday 16th July, 6.30pm to 8pm

Meet key members of the Bridges Hall staff team including the Hall Warden, Operational Managers and Security staff

View the new student rooms and facilities

Find out about our plans to manage the impact on nearby residential areas

Please RSVP to Laura Edwards: 0118 378 8426,

We are concerned that hall residents will park on our street

We make it clear via a range of communications to all prospective residents that they cannot bring a car to University if they wish to live in halls (unless they meet specific criteria which would qualify them to have a campus parking permit e.g. disability). Furthermore, the Student Residence Agreement prohibits any student living in halls from parking within a 1 mile radius of the campus.

Our experience of other redeveloped halls tells us that students who live in those halls do not bring cars. Whilst it is difficult to distinguish between students and staff who make daily journeys to campus from elsewhere and park locally, and those living in halls, where it has been identified that a student in halls has a car, this has been robustly dealt with.

We proactively promote walking, cycling and use of public transport to both staff and students. Bridges Hall has outstanding cycle storage facilities and shower facilities for staff. Reading Buses are also increasing the frequency of the No. 19 bus route which serves Whiteknights Road.

We are concerned about increased noise and anti-social behaviour

The Hall Warden Dr Sam Boateng is aware of local residents’ concerns. During the welcome period he will be meeting with the students and alongside the JCR (hall social committee) raising their awareness of the need to be responsible and considerate to neighbours. These messages will be reiterated when necessary. The majority of our students will behave responsibly and many will be keen to take part in community life, taking up various volunteering and other community activities.

Once again those who can be identified as causing a problem will be dealt with through our disciplinary processes. There will be a permanent manned security presence out of office hours at the hall. Our security control room can also be contacted with any specific concerns at any time on 0118 378 7799.

When will the main moving in period be? What are the arrangements?

The University’s main ‘Welcome Weekend’ will be from Friday 19th to Sunday 21st September 2014. Students moving in to Bridges and Wessex Halls are booked to arrive across all three days, with timed arrival slots to avoid traffic queues. Cars will drop off at the respective hall and then be directed to park at the Earley Gate campus car parks. The area will be fully staffed to manage traffic flows.

Who are the key staff on site?

Bridges Hall Reception can be reached on 0118 378 5730. The key contacts are:

Catherine Mewes, UPP Group Residence Manager

Dr Sam Boateng, Hall Warden.

The University’s Community Relations Manager, Ann Westgarth is also contactable for community related enquiries on 0118 378 4479.

We hope the above information is helpful to you. We would be delighted to see you on 16th July.

Please RSVP to the invitation.

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