New ‘vision’ for University of Hertfordshire students
UP to 1,500 more University of Hertfordshire students could be living on campus within the next decade, thanks to new plans drawn up by the Hatfield-based institute.
A �250m scheme will be put to the public for consideration today (Wednesday), which outlines the university’s new Estate Strategy, entitled 2020 Vision.
An aspirational 10-year plan, the strategy proposes knocking down 1,000 student rooms at College Lane Campus, and building accommodation for around 2,500 undergraduates, post graduates and international students instead.
It would see the front of the campus opened up into a pedestrianised walkway, connecting the main campus with the Forum, plus the erection of several new buildings, for both social and study purposes.
The buildings would be designed so as to allow an easy change of use should it be necessary in the future.
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The plans would also see former playing fields at Angerland Common off South Way – which closed after the uni built a park and ride facility on the South Way site – reopened in accordance with a long-standing Section 106 agreement.
Andrew May, the uni’s director of estates, hospitality and contract services, said: “We’ve been working on this for the past 10 to 12 months.
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“It’s been a very thorough process and highly consultative, hearing the views of all internal stakeholders and a combination of staff and students.
“We’ve set out our stall in terms of what we think we need, and now we’re going out into the community to ask people what their views are on this.”
Mr May, a qualified chartered surveyor, said the 2020 Vision was based on three fundamental principles – community, student experience and sustainability.
“We need to make sure we build something that is flexible in its use,” Mr May said.
“As we go through this 10 year plan we might realise we need to change our views on a new science building, for example.”
And he that continued expansion was essential in order for the university to thrive.
“Doing nothing will cost more in the long run, because if you do nothing you’re trying to maintain older and older buildings,” Mr May said.
“If you do nothing financially we’re in a worse position. It’s the biggest risk we face and therefore is not an option.”
Residents can see the plans at the exhibition taking place at the Forum, off College Lane, today and tomorrow, from 2pm to 8pm.