STUDENTS based in the Newstead building are to go without a shop due to delays involving the Students’ Union (SU) and Newstead Buildings and Services.
SU President, Aodhán Ó’Deá blamed the stilted progress on a lack of response after requesting to meet Newstead Buildings and Services to discuss the location of a SU shop. Mr Ó Deá explained that he only received contact from Buildings and Services on September 15th having originally contacting them in June.
Stating that he had recently viewed the proposed site for the new shop, Mr Ó Deá felt that it was not suitable due to cost and accessibility reasons describing the route to the site as a “maze”.
“There are two available spaces down there”, Mr Ó Deá explained.“They’ reboth storerooms at the moment [but] the problem is they’re pretty far into the building… either space at the moment would be too small; they are tiny, they’re almost cupboards”.
The possibility of knocking down walls which separate the two storage rooms, in order to create one bigger room, was looked at by Mr Ó Deá and Newstead Buildings and Services. However, he felt that the idea wouldn’t be feasible due to cost involved in knocking demolishing the hard lined walls.
The SU intend to propose a part-time facility to the Building Committee while plans for the shop are being discussed. This part-time facility will consist of a food cart which Mr Ó Deá hopes students will be able to purchase sandwiches, tea, coffee and newspapers from. They also plan to use the storerooms proposed for the shop for the storage of supplies.
An extension for the Newstead building is currently being built and is anticipated to be completed within three years. It is hoped that the extension will provide a suitable space for a shop or restaurant to be located.
Mr Ó Deá felt that such facilities should have been implemented in the original plans saying that it was “a complete oversight”.
In response to criticisms regarding the Newstead building, a university spokesperson explained that Building and Services had been working alongside the SU to provide a shop in the Newstead building.
They said that they provided a specific area for the shop and estimated costs for building works. It was decided that because there are café facilities available in neighbouring buildings such as Richview and the Student Centre, additional cafe services would not be required for Newstead.
The building, which is currently occupied by students from the School of Architecture Landscape and Civil Engineering, has been without a restaurant or shop since students moved in during 2007.