The newest student residence to be built at the University of Birmingham is well on track after the first of its smaller blocks reached the highest point. The new Chamberlain, due to open to students next September, is being built on the site of the former Chamberlain Hall which was demolished earlier this year after being closed in 2006.
The landscape around the Vale – and beyond - was dramatically changed when the 50-year-old Eden Tower was removed. Previously known as High Hall, the tower, and its associated blocks of Hampton and Chelwood wings were demolished after studies revealed it would be uneconomic to refurbish them and would not provide the quality of accommodation which the University of Birmingham desires for students.
The new residence, which will be home to around 726 students when complete, is made up of three low rise blocks and one tower of around 20 storeys. The lower blocks are positioned to allow views into the Vale from Church Road, and the first of these blocks has now reached its highest point.
At a topping out ceremony held recently to mark this milestone, Guild of Students vice-president for housing and community, Jack Mably, was invited to lay the final area of concrete on the roof to mark the milestone. Outgoing Aitken Wing Residents’ Association representatives Bryony Anderson and Eloise Hopes were also present to take a closer look at what Vale residents of 2015/16 might be able to expect.
Jack said: “After visiting the site - I cannot wait for the finished result! The project is a massive one that has not been an easy feat - a lot of hardwork and motivation has already gone into the project. I am confident the end result will be fantastic.”
Lesley Stewart, Director of residential and environmental services at the University was also present at the ceremony.
She said: “‘Today is the culmination of years of planning, discussion and design and I am delighted to see Chamberlain reach this important milestone. This project illustrates our on-going commitment to invest in our stock of accommodation to ensure that our buildings are both modern and sustainable and offer up-to-date facilities for our students.”
For further information please contact Kara Griffiths, Communications and Stakeholder Engagement manager (Estates Developments), University of Birmingham, on +44 (0)7812 671797
Picture caption: Jack Mably, Guild of Students vice-president (housing and community) lays the final concrete on top of the first block of Chamberlain to reach its full height.