London Metropolitan University student union moving to make way for ‘teaching and learning centre’
PUBLISHED: 16:27 11 September 2017 | UPDATED: 16:27 11 September 2017
London Met’s student union is set to be moved in a bid to give students an “enhanced” and “vibrant” experience at university, it has been revealed.
The university is expanding its two-storey J Block building – which currently houses the student union – to create a four-storey facility dubbed a “teaching and learning centre”.
Plans approved by Islington Council will include 25 teaching rooms and a cafe with the capacity to seat more than 200 people when the building opens in summer 2019.
Work is under way to refurbish the Harglenis Building – previously home to the university’s admissions department and assessment and conferment office – so the student union can be moved there at the end of this year.
Uni officials say that the union will be better placed in a standalone building in a prominent part of the Holloway Road campus, while the J Block building expansion will “transform and enhance the experience of London Met’s students, staff and residents”.
Prof John Raftery, London Met’s vice-chancellor, said: “We are excited about our plans to create a new teaching and learning building and public space in Islington.
“It is important to us that our neighbours feel they are a part of the London Met community. Collaboration is one of our core values and we believe that creating a safe and welcoming environment in which our students, staff and neighbours can gather, will create great benefits for all of us and the wider borough.
“This development will greatly enhance our students’ learning and teaching and shows how serious we are about investing in education here in Holloway.”
The university announced in July of last year its plans to cut almost 400 staff jobs and shut down its two centres in Aldgate and Moorgate as part of a £125million redesign of its main campus in Holloway Road.
As part of the “redesign”, the university’s tower building will be refurbished and a gallery and theatre will be created.
There will also a central plaza for a variety of uses for students and the wider community, with those responding to a consultation which ran earlier this year coming up with ideas including an open air cinema and an ice-skating rink.