Chamberlain Hall to Close
The University has announced that as part of “on-going improvement works” Chamberlain Hall will close at the end of this academic year. The decision has been a long time coming; […]
The University has announced that as part of “on-going improvement works” Chamberlain Hall will close at the end of this academic year.
The decision has been a long time coming; now speculation over the fate of the venerable building can come to the end. It is unclear whether the University will demolish or completely refurbish the building, all that is clear is Chamberlain Hall, Dining Room and Bar will not be open during the next academic year.
The Tab first received this information last night, after SUSU employees were emailed stating that their places of work would cease to operate at the end of this academic year.
With the University continually expanding, the loss of 167 rooms for students will be felt. There is continuing pressure on housing for first year students in Southampton with increasing numbers having to privately rent accommodation. With the closure comes the loss of catered facilities for students on the Glen Eyre complex, leaving only Connaught and Highfield with catering available.
The closure of Chamberlain will result in the loss of approximately 50 jobs among cleaning, catering and bar staff. It is not known whether affected individuals will be offered jobs elsewhere in the University or Student’s Union.
Despite being one of the smallest Halls at the University, Chamberlain is by far one of the most active. In recent years Chamberlain Halls complex has provided the current SUSU President, Billy FitzJohn, and previous President, Steve O’Reilly. Alongside placing its self at the forefront of SUSU politics, this year has seen one of the most successful and profitable years for the JCR and Bar. On the first night of freshers, Chambers Bar took more than £4,500 and throughout the week managed to make much more than all the other, considerably larger, bars.
Designed by Modernist architect Basil Spence and opened on 20/10/1958 by Miss Mary Chamberlain, Chamberlain has its own unique character. Featuring balconies, a pond with ducks (hence Chamberlain’s logo) and a very cold glass corridor, it is unlikely that any replacement will have half the interesting features Chamberlain has currently.
Whilst providing a considerable sense of architectural uniqueness, Chamberlain arguably has the strongest sense of community amongst halls within Southampton. The end of year “Legends Social” attracted dozens of alumni, coming from afar to drink in their old watering hole and share stories of their time in halls.
It should be said that Chamberlain Halls and the ducks will be severely missed by many of those who have had the pleasure of living or socialising there. However, a warning to Tony Robinson and the Time Team, whom will inevitably descend upon Chamberlain at the end of the year, be careful what noticeboards you look behind. Mischievous residents have left various shrines in corridors in Chamberlain Hall. The capsules are rumoured to contain various “biological samples” so who knows what may be lurking!
In the mean time, The Tab recommends every one to go and have a very responsible drink at Chambers Bar before it is no more!