The Green Heart Project is the biggest waste of time and here’s why
Are we just paying for a landscaped garden?
For recent freshers and prospective students, choosing our humble university to spend the next four years may have been down to three choices: our party lifestyles, our excellent academic record, or the Green Heart Project.
What is the Green Heart Project? According to the University of Birmingham: “The Green Heart project will open up the centre of campus for students, staff and the local community to enjoy. It will provide a space for performances, socialising, meeting and working, while opening up views across the whole campus, as envisaged in the 1920s.”
While all this sounds amazing, the reality is, this project is obscenely priced. Is it worth the infamous midday crush when commuting between lectures? The old campus seems like a distant memory for us old school Brum students. The Green Heart Project is a waste of time and here’s why:
Getting stuck between Muirhead Tower and the bottom length of the Arts building is not a pleasant experience. Trying to avoid the midday commute to lectures by going all around the campus when all you wanted to do was get a coffee is not pleasant either.
It’s very noisy
Trying to shout over my answers to a seminar question was not how I envisioned my Monday mornings to go down. They’re awkward enough as it is. Missing key quotes from lecturers from the sound of drills and jackhammers is simply unnecessary. Still, at least the sound keeps you from falling asleep.
While Sir Aston Webb intended for the Edgbaston campus to be expansive when designing the University of Birmingham over one hundred years ago, is this whole project really for students? At a cost of £16.9 million – not including the old Library demolition, which is incorporated into the £60 million cost of building the new Library – it feels like a pointless branding activity at the expense of the “academic experience” that the university is invested in.
Fund our studies
Even though the new library boasts to have even more study space than the old library, many students are still finding it difficult to access a quiet and independent area to do their work. This is all despite the hefty price tag. If they can afford a redevelopment project, then why can’t they invest in study spaces and paying lecturers a decent wage for making education actually mean something? It’s 2017, how is it still possible that final year students still can’t get a study space?
Redbrick looks nicer
The demolition of the old library and the bomb site that is now sprawling all across our campus has made some students realise the error of supporting this project. The new library, as part of the redevelopment of our campus, feels like a sixth form common room and looks truly ugly. With the way our campus is at the moment, we definitely don’t deserve this accolade.
While studies suggest that beautiful architecture boosts health as much as green spaces, perhaps the university should have considered keeping the old library intact. When we are feeling down, what buildings will we look to for inspiration? What will we post on our Instagram now?