College life revolves around many hubs, but wherever you are within the College community the Lodge undoubtedly plays a central role. Whether you are collecting post, keys or visitors, signing in and out of the working day, being pointed in the right direction, or in need of any form of assistance day or night, the Lodge is where we all head.
It is fair to say that this most important hub for the whole College community has begun to look just a bit tired in recent years, and incremental growth has seen all manner of equipment added onto it in a somewhat haphazard way. Univ is a progressive College that steps boldly into the future; it deserves a Lodge that speaks to a fine history and bright times yet to come. To that end, the Lodge has been given a bit of a facelift over the last few weeks, care of our wonderful Works department. Having climbed the steps from the High Street, one turn right, (but, for the time being, a turn left) takes you into the temporary Lodge, formerly the JCR Pidge Room and soon to become the College Communications team office.
Behind the hoarding, work is taking place to create a modern, reception style facility, complete with exposed 17th century timber beams, where visitors can wait to be met, out of the wind and rain, and where good first impressions can be formed. The previous window hatch has been cut down into a wide and welcoming entrance door. The creation of a new doorway in the exterior of a Grade 1 listed building has been no mean feat. The College is grateful to its architects, Original Field of Architecture and Landscape and Robin Darwall-Smith, the College Archivist, for being able to show that this elevation was substantially altered in the 1980s and, as a result, gained listed building consent this time round too.
Behind the Porters’ new, accessible reception desk (oak and leather of course) up to date and future-proofed fire and intruder alarm control panels will be positioned alongside discreet CCTV monitors to ensure that we keep our College community safe while still looking stylish and elegant. Parcels will still be taken to the rear of the Lodge for sorting before being taken to the electronic locker beneath the Goodhart Seminar building where a swipe of your smartphone will continue to release your parcel. However, rest assured, those needing to borrow a bicycle pump, sticky tape, iron, needle, thread, or kitchen sink, one will still be available, neatly tucked away in the new bespoke cupboards. Well, perhaps with the exception of the needle and thread, storage of such items being clearly hazardous.
The next phase of improvement to both the Lodge and the Main Quad is to ensure level access is available with plans being considered to raise the level of Main Quad to give level thresholds for the new Lodge and Fellows’ post room off staircase IV, along with staircase V and VI and a ramped approach to the Hall corridor
We look forward to the start of Hilary term and the opening of the new Lodge. With a fair wind and some not inconsiderable movement of York stone we hope to bring the new paving up to standard sometime in 2020.
Published: 13 December 2019
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