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42 Park End Street now in operation42 Park End Street after completion

The Department of Sociology has now moved into its new premises at 42 Park End Street following the completion of the project to refurbish the former nightclub.

The riverside building on the corner with Tidmarsh Lane, previously a nightclub, has been renovated by its owner Nuffield College and leased to the University.

Nuffield continues to take responsibility for upkeep of the physical fabric of the building but the facilities are managed for Sociology by the Facilities Management team within Estates Services. The lease on the property has been completed; the Asset Management and Estates Legal Services teams were closely involved with negotiating this on the department's behalf.

DLO Mechanical team improve Begbroke building systems

Direct Labour Organisation (DLO) maintenance operatives have been working to address problems with the heating, cooling and ventilation systems in several buildings at Begbroke Science Park. Mechanical team members have been spending every Monday there, and have almost finished overhauling the systems of the IAT (Institute for Advanced Technology) building.

This has greatly improved the functioning of heating and cooling systems, while servicing air handling units, changing filters and similar measures mean the building now has much better air quality than before. They will next turn their attention to the Hirsch Building, inhabited by the Department of Materials.

Improvement works move forward at Castle Mill

Work has been completed on two blocks at the University’s Castle Mill graduate accommodation site. This is part of a phased programme of modifications aimed at improving the visual and environmental impact of the buildings on the surrounding landscape.

Improvement works move forward at Castle Mill The work that has been finished includes painting the walls in a neutral buff colour to reduce glare and visual impact, replacement of cladding, changes to the size and shape of windows, installation of brise-soleil window surrounds, incorporating stair tower glazing, and adding internal automatic blinds.

Visual impact will be reduced still further once the planting schemes are completed in the autumn. These include green walls on the Roger Dudman Way side, living walls on the stair tower blocks and mixed trees and other planting towards Port Meadow. Watering systems are already in place for the green walls and steelwork to support them is on site, while plants and trees have been purchased and are being stored at nurseries.

Work is still being done on the remaining blocks at Castle Mill; the whole project is expected to be finished by early March 2020 and to cost around £8m in total.

More time for annual space review

The Information Management team have recently finished a major clean-up of the building data and drawings held in Planon. The space-related information in the database is now far more reliable, and because of this the team are planning to start sending it out for review well ahead of the space charging round in October, giving departments much more time to deal with it.

Some departments may already have heard from the team; if not, they will be in touch by the end of July with all relevant space information and drawings. Please check this information over the summer and let them know if anything is wrong or out of date. The data will then be used to calculate annual charges for each department’s space. The aim is to reduce the pressure that trying to compress the annual space data review into an extremely short period in October and November puts on everyone involved. If you have any questions, contact

First Thom Building lift replaced

The project to renew the lifts in the Engineering Department’s Thom Building is going well; the first lift was replaced in early July, and work has now started on the second. The whole project should be finished in October.

The existing lifts were nearing the end of their serviceable life and had become increasingly unreliable – a source of some annoyance to the building’s users, particularly since it is the tallest structure in central Oxford.

The new lifts will be much more reliable and should mean users are no longer regularly forced to use the stairs.

Sheldonian cupola and windows renovated

In April and May, Conservation & Buildings staff and contractors completed periodic maintenance to the cupola and windows of the Sheldonian.

The work involved building scaffolding up the side of the Theatre and around the cupola and then re-painting the cupola and its windows and metalwork, including the weather vane and security bars. The team also carried out limited timber repairs to the cupola and re-stained or re-painted all lower-level windows. The work was planned carefully to avoid disrupting events in the building, and there was close consultation with neighbours including the History of Science Museum and the Bodleian. The cupola was last redecorated in 2008, and should now need no more work for another 5-10 years.

Innovation Building landscaping now finished

The Parks team have finished landscaping around and behind the Innovation Building on Old Road Campus, which was completed last year and houses the Bioescalator research commercialisation centre, a car park and distribution centre and space occupied by Danish healthcare company Novo Nordisk.

DLO expands ROQ presence

Earlier this year, the Direct Labour Organisation (DLO) established a workshop with training and welfare facilities for its Mechanical team in the basement of the Andrew Wiles Building on the ROQ. This is now being expanded to include a carpentry workshop for the DLO Building team. This will improve the service departmental customers in the ROQ and the surrounding area receive, and means the team’s workshop in the now-closed Tinbergen building is at last being replaced.

Temporary Structure build at edge of Parks

A temporary modular structure has been built along the southern boundary between the Science Area and the University Parks, after being granted planning permission and securing the agreement of the Curators of the Parks.

The two-storey building provides essential welfare facilities for people working on the completion of the Biochemistry building in the Science Area. It will be in place for around two years, occupying the space usually taken up by the Parks team’s plant nursery. After its removal, there will be a major project to redevelop this area of the Parks. If you have any queries or comments, please contact the Parks team.

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