Introduction Our new building is called the “Urban Sciences Building

Our new building is called the “Urban Sciences Building” because it houses computing alongside several major
national research centres on science and engineering to make cities more sustainable, healthy and liveable
places. I’ll call the building the USB in the following.
The USB is 10-15 minutes’ walk from the Claremont Tower, behind the University’s Business School at the
Gallowgate end of the St James Park football ground, close to Verde and Liberty accommodation. It is the first
large building to be developed by the University itself on the Science Central site, but it will be followed by a
Learning and Teaching Centre, and the National Institute for Smart Data Innovation which is led by members
of our own school.
Q: Where are all the lectures going to be? Will some be in the new building and some on campus?
A: The vast majority will be in the new building, at least in the first year we’re there. During the building’s
design, students asked for some lectures to be timetabled elsewhere on campus, so that there would be
some variety of locations and environment. We’ll schedule all practicals in the labs in the USB, so lectures that
are closely followed by practicals will definitely be there. However, other classes could be placed in rooms
elsewhere if we wanted.
In order to secure a working timetable for our first year, the University timetabling team has done a first pass
with all our classes in the USB: we needed first to ensure that this could be done. They will then look at the
feasibility of timetabling a selection of suitable classes back here. Actually that’s difficult in 2017/18 because
the Claremont Tower is getting refurbished after we move out, and it’s not yet clear if this will prevent the
use of teaching rooms on CLT1, in the Daysh or the Bridge, so they’re not able to commit at this stage. At least
we have some confidence we can schedule our classes in the USB.
Incidentally, we’re timetabling classes in the USB to start and end on the half hour (0930,1030, etc.) so that –
if you have to get to something on the other parts of campus – there’ll be enough time to get over there.
Q: Will there be any problems with the new building which will affect students?
A: We’re realistic: there are bound to be problems in any new building, and they could affect any of us. We
plan to reduce the likelihood and severity of any problems by:
Having a programme of debugging the building from our moving-in date (4th August 2017), including a
week in early September when we hope around 50 students will come in (as paid volunteers) and test
the facilities (use the labs and lecture theatre), try out all the lifts, toilets, tea points, café, etc. If
anyone would like to take part in this, please contact Laura!
Having the builders, designers and managers of the building on site following completion, so that they
can address problems immediately as they arise.
Having a permanent Building Manager (Mr Dave Goodwin) present all the time.
Making it easy to report problems. Some issues will be things we have to sort out among ourselves –
just social issues like managing circulation at busy times. Others will be physical issues with the
building like problems with lighting, heating, ventilation, etc. We’ll make it easy to flag up problems
online and in person, and we’ll hold meetings for all the building’s users (staff as well as students)
following our arrival so that we pick everything up: it’s important that we identify as many bugs as
possible while the builders are still there to fix them.
Some problems will require community solutions. These can be things like bringing your bike in the
dedicated rear entrance to avoid creating a mess in the front hall, or following a general direction of
flow into and out of the lecture theatre. These are the kinds of practice that just evolve naturally in a
community, but in a new home it takes time for us to discover what works, and to develop the best
Q: Toilets. Will there be a gender neutral toilet? Will there be enough sanitary bins in the female toilets?
A: Yes – there is a gender neutral toilet on the ground floor. We will ensure sufficient sanitary bins – please let
us know as soon as possible if there aren’t enough.
Q: Food. Are there affordable places to eat nearby? What are the catering facilities in the building like? Will
it be healthy, sustainable, high quality food? Can I get a full meal rather than just a sandwich? Can I bring
food in with me and where can I eat it? Is there a microwave I can use?
A: There’s a range of places to eat around the site. There are cafés on nearby streets (and I’d expect some
more to start up as the usage of Science Central rises). There’s a Tesco Metro at the Business School close by,
and it’s 5 minutes to Stowell Street.
Within the building there will be a new café run by the people who operate Campus Coffee, the Courtyard,
etc. They tell us that they plan to offer the usual sandwiches, fruit, snacks, and hot food like soups and broths
with artisan breads, toasted sandwiches, noodle pots, baked potatoes, etc. We’ve been discussing opening
hours with them, and the current recommendation is 0800-1600. The next building to be constructed,
adjacent to the USB, is planned to have more extensive catering facilities.
You can bring food in with you. There are lots of places in the building where you can eat: there will tea points
with sinks and zip taps for hot and cold water. There will be vending machines. There will not be a generally
accessible facility to heat food up (due to the smells, mess, etc.).
Q: What is the distance between USB and the campus? Will there be any transport?
A: The USB is 0.7 miles by foot from the Union building (according to Google maps, a 14 minute walk, but I
usually manage it in less). It is just one of several university buildings to be developed on the same site, and
the University is a user of several other adjacent buildings owned by others. As a result it should not feel like
it’s “off campus” – the Business School already ensures that there is quite a strong student atmosphere
around the area.
As I understand, there are not any current plans to lay on regular transport, given the distance.
Q: Will there be facilities for praying?
A: There will be at two quiet rooms near the School reception on Level 2, and a number of other quiet areas
of the building. These can be used for prayer as well as a variety of other purposes. There are foot washing
facilities on the ground floor. In a few years’ time we expect to have similar facilities in the neighbouring
Q: Will it be child friendly?
A: The ground floor and some other areas are open to the public, including accompanied children. There are
quiet rooms that could be used by nursing mothers. Please let me know if you have any specific queries
around this point.
Q: Will cs-support be available in the new building?
A: Yes – they’ll have desks in the office behind the School reception, and they’ll will have better workshops
than at present.
Q: Will there be cycling facilities and showers?
A: Yes. There will be a cycle store within the building, and there will be showers. You’ll be able to come in
through a dedicated entrance, store your bike, shower, and come out to the ground floor entrance area.
Q: Will it be 24 hour access for everyone?
A: Currently, we intend it to be 24 hour access to registered users of the building (including Computing
Science students and staff who have been properly trained to use the building safely, and take appropriate
responsibility). It is not planned to be 24 hour access to members of the university generally, or to the general
public. While parts of the building will be open to the public, this will only be during specified hours.
Q: Will there be recycling? Will all the waste that is separated be properly recycled?
A: Yes, and yes. There will be recycling. The waste that is separated will be properly recycled: even waste that
is collected in specialist bins in the university is re-sorted by our waste management contractor.
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