John Percival building opens its new doors

Credit: Conor Holohan

By Maria Mellor

The renovations on the John Percival building have been completed after nearly two months of work. The construction work began in December.

There were two main aims to the improvements: to increase the size of the building by extending the ground floor reception and to add a meeting/events room above it on the first floor.

The construction value on the project is £146,000 including VAT.

This has been part of a project to improve the building over the past few years. 28 teaching rooms have already undergone major refurbishment and additional power sockets have been added to the coffee shop for student use.

Despite the improvements to the building, some students have wondered about how much benefit it has had to the building.

Masters student, Caragh Medlicott said: “The new classroom is nice but for the amount of time the renovations to the John Percival building took I certainly don’t think that the spinning doors are worth it- I think they actually cause more mayhem than the standard automatic door that was there before!”

Both areas are proposed for social interaction and teaching that will benefit students, with the additional space in the reception to be potentially used for exhibitions and open days.

A Cardiff University spokesperson said: “The most recent work on the reception area and first floor sought to enhance the building for our students and staff in line with other improvements.”

Liam Kercher, a second year Welsh student said: “With a renovation you’d assume the purpose of it would be to make things better.

“Although it looks flash and new, which is exciting, I’d much prefer to see practicality being the first priority. Now it just slows down traffic going in and out of the building. The biggest problem is that if you’re alone you can’t jump into a section of the revolving door with someone you don’t know. Most of the time I end up with a whole section to myself which just looks greedy. It also adds fear to the fact I could get my ankle mauled on the way to a lecture.”

Concerns were expressed over the timeframe of the project, as the construction work ran into term time, meaning that students had to go via an alternative route into the building.

A university spokesperson added: “We started the works on 12 December and planned to complete them by the end of January, with the bulk of the heavy work done before the start of term. We ran over slightly due to weather conditions, and had to reschedule some tasks to avoid any impact on teaching. We also accommodated a couple of minor changes in addition to the original remit.

“We would like to thank our students for their co-operation.”

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