Student Union offices deemed ‘unusable’

In the run up to fresher’s week, one of the busiest periods for any university, Lincoln’s SU has been disrupted by the building they are located in. However, work to repair the situation is nearly complete as the new term starts in just a fortnight.

The offices, situated above The Engine Shed have been deemed ‘unusable’ by the University of Lincoln, at the current time, due to the glass windows which run from floor to ceiling on the first floor.

SU Photo: Tom Larken
The site of the 'unusable' offices. Photo: Tom Larken

In the warm weather, temperatures have been reaching in excess of 40 degrees through the glass, making the offices unusable.

The problem, first recognised in July has left the SU workers unable to use their offices over the summer period.

James Brooks, a staff member at the SU commented: “It was deemed that the working environment in the first floor of the Student Centre was not conducive to a safe working environment.

“The problem is caused by sun on the windows radiating heat into the office space. On one isolated occasion one of the smaller offices reached 42 degrees.

“The University recognised that the temperatures were far too high and risked the health of the staff working in there.

Acknowledging the problem, the University of Lincoln tried to provide a temporary solution to the problem, but it later proved to be inaccurate.

James says “The university had previously supplied portable air-conditioning units to try and solve the problem but these were not powerful enough to cope with the temperatures.”

However, works are under way to ensure that the offices are returned to normality as soon as possible, with a new office layout fitted with air conditioning and reflective films being placed on the windows to reduce the chances of this happening again are minimal.

During their time out of the offices, the staff at the SU have had to use other university amenities to keep their work going.

“The SU staff have relocated to the downstairs offices.” James says.

“We have been using rooms in the library to hold meetings while this work is carried out.

Staff have been allowed to work from home where their work is deemed suitable.”

A University of Lincoln spokesman said: “The University has been working over the summer to install new air conditioning units in the Students’ Union offices to address issues with over-heating in some parts of the building. The SU re-located temporarily to allow this work to take place and will move back into the offices before the start of term.

“We believe these changes should offer a lasting solution to the over-heating issues, and we are also taking the opportunity to adapt the office lay-out to create a much-improved working environment for the SU team”

Despite the disruptions, James told me that the work of the SU is continuing as normal, and that they are hoping to move back in to their offices on September 16th , a week ahead of the new term starting.

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