By Henry Clare
Elvet Riverside’s heating system is set to undergo “comprehensive refurbishment”, after members of the Italian department protested at “freezing” conditions on Monday.
In an email sent to all Durham students, Professor David Cowling, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, said:
“We have experienced some problems with our heating system at the Elvet Riverside buildings which has impacted on working and studying conditions for students and staff. On behalf of the University Executive I am very sorry for the resulting discomfort and inconvenience
“There are three separate faults relating to the heating plant, each of which has caused a system failure. It is apparent that the plant is coming to the end of its useful life.
“A comprehensive refurbishment programme, to include a complete renewal of the heating system along with additional improvements to the building, is being planned. This programme of works will take some time to schedule and implement and will require the building to be taken completely out of use”.
Whilst the refurbishment programme is being planned, a number of small changes will be made to ensure that the conditions in the building are “of an acceptable standard”.
Members of the Estates team are set to carry out necessary repairs to the heating system, and a regular monitoring system is being introduced to ensure that any future problems can be dealt with quickly and effectively.
A programme of deep cleaning and maintenance will also take place over the Easter holidays, and cleaning and caretaking staffing will be increased.
Professor Cowling also confirmed that “major investment in this facility remains our top priority, and we are working hard to achieve this objective”.
Photograph: Tom Fenton