Keble announces new campus plans

first_imgKeble College has unveiled a £45 million building project to create a new campus between Banbury and Woodstock roads.The development will provide housing for 250 students, a library, teaching rooms as well as a multi-disciplinary research facility.Plans include a sunken garden, five-storey sandstone brick buildings and a quad with a water feature flowing on one side.The project will be constructed on the site of Acland Hospital, opposite the Radcliffe Infirmary Site. This site is being redeveloped for £500 million by Oxford University. Keble college purchased their grounds for £10.75 million.The college currently accommodates only 70% of its 641 students. Keble college bursar Roger Bowden commented, “our aim is to be able to house 90 per cent of our students in college accommodation.”“We now have many young academics who say they cannot afford to buy homes in Oxford. They need to have college accommodation. It is crucial that we continue to attract the best academics.”The college will cover the cost of the building project from fundraising. Part of cost is also covered through sales of college-owned houses in North Oxford.College officials revealed, “We are about to embark on a £50m fundraising campaign focussed on our 150th anniversary in 2020: two-thirds of this money will be directed towards the funding of additional student accommodation.”Keble’s JCR President Zain F. Talyarkhan commented, “the redevelopment of the Acland site is the most audacious project that the College has undertaken since its founding. As such, it is a major part of the long-term plan for the future of Keble.”Lydia Monnington, 3rd year student at Keble college also expressed her praise.She said, “They’ve been using Acland site for 1.5 years but it still looks like hospital. It’s a site for graduates. It’s a really good place and it’s quite close to the college – I think that’s really nice. My only worry is the cost. How will they raise all that money?”A spokesperson for Oxford City Council confirmed Keble College’s plans. She said, “We have spoken to Keble to inform them that we haven’t formally validated their planning application yet.”She also explained, “There will be the standard 21 day consultation and it will go to Area Committee for comment and then Strategic Development Control Committee will determine the application.”The project ties into Oxford’s Local Plan, whereby no more than 3000 full-time students should live out of college.The work on the Acland site is set to start in August 2012 at the earliest. It is anticipated that the construction period will last two years.last_img

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