News' Emily Roberts reports on the campaign spending of the Conservative candidate for West Midlands Mayor, Andy StreetWritten by Emily Roberts on 27th April 2017
New Library Banner Cost £27,000
The decorative hoarding placed on the front of the Old Library building is reported to have cost the price of an undergraduate degree
A banner measuring 69.3m x 13.7m was attached to the front of the Old Library earlier this year and is now said to have cost £27,000. This has been met with complaints from numerous students. Although, this is not the first time that the transition between libraries has been criticised.
The opening of the new library at the start of the academic year has not been without controversy and many students have had numerous complaints regarding space and WiFi among other things. While some complaints, such as one over the restrictions on eating food inside, have been quelled, the start of the second semester saw the library debate reopen for discussion.
The most recent of these complaints concerned the attachment of a banner to the front of the Old Library building displaying an artist’s impression of the University’s plans for the future of UoB and the Green Heart project.
For many students including, English & Creative Writing student, Phoebe, ‘this seems like the biggest waste of money ever.’
It has been revealed that the cost of this venture was £27,000, at which one student remarked, ‘that’s the price of my degree!’
“‘this seems like the biggest waste of money ever’
For a temporary banner that seems to serve little purpose in the eyes of students, it is not surprising that students have a lot to say about it.
Beth, a first-year student, said, ‘I’m sure the University has millions of pounds to spend on various things, so £27,000 isn’t much to waste’ however she’s keen to stress ‘the money should have been spent on something more worthwhile.’
Redbrick News spoke to a third year, who stated ‘I thought it would have been expensive but £27,000 for a banner? Nice to know our degree money has been put to good use.’
When contacted by Redbrick, the press office for the University gave their reasons for the spending.
“'a component of the site safety arrangements'
The banner is supposed to ‘improve the aesthetic on campus’, as well as being necessary to minimise disruption to the student community whilst demolition works are going ahead. The press office confirmed that ‘the building wrap forms part of the site hoardings and demolition scaffolding that will be used as the building is demolished, a component of the site safety arrangements.'
Despite the price tag, the University assures Redbrick that it’s related to the safety of the demolition of the library and is in line with keeping disruption to students at a minimum.
Beginning now and ending in September, the process of demolishing the library is now in place. The spokesperson stressed ‘no demolition will be done during exam season’ and stated that the University’s decision to put the banner up was made with the student body in mind: ‘the student experience is extremely important to us.’
“‘the student experience is extremely important to us’
The Green Heart which is to stand in the place where the Old Library currently is, looks set to be an exciting development at the University of Birmingham. Measuring 12.1 acres, it aims to open up spaces for performances, socialising and studying. The press office states that ‘there are also plans for a study space in the Green Heart’, so hopefully those students that struggle to get a space in the current library will have more opportunities to study on campus.
As for the demolition process of the library, while £27,000 first came as a shock to many students, it seems that the banner is designed to help it to go by as smoothly as possible for all concerned.