The multimillion pound Stevenson extension remains unfinished over a year after it was due to be completed, resulting in the Glasgow University Union (GUU) having no nightclub facility for the third Freshers’ week in a row. The five storey extension will connect the GUU with the Stevenson Building, creating additional space for sports facilities and the return of the much-loved Hive nightclub, at a cost of £13.9 million.
The old GUU extension was opened in 1965 and remained popular with students up until its demolition in July 2013, after the University decided to fund a new 4,191m2 replacement, to be completed by September 2014. However, since then, the project has been plagued with delays. £516,000 was reportedly added to the original £13.4m cost in April 2014.
Since then, the completion date of the project has been pushed further back, being revised to a ‘mid-2015′ estimate. The GUU’s Strategic Plan 2015-18, released in March of this year, stated that the “brand new Extension [was] opening in September 2015”, however, delays have continued over summer, leaving the union without its long-awaited nightclub for Freshers’ Week.
In addition to a new nightclub facility, the extension is expected to house four new cafes and bars. The Glasgow University Sports Association (GUSA) will also benefit from the additional space, with new sport and exercise facilities within the extension. With the annual gym membership fee rising to £100, expectations are likely to be high.
A University of Glasgow spokesperson said: “We are very excited at the imminent opening of the new Stevenson sports extension and the replacement nightclub for the Glasgow University Union. Both will provide exceptional facilities.
“We have worked very closely with the contractors, the GUU and the sports team on this major project which has come in on-budget and with an anticipated delay of only three weeks.
“Our intention from the outset was to provide what we now are sure will be delivered – a high quality, accessible and state of the art sports extension and a new student nightclub, bars and social spaces. These will be major additions to the student and staff experience at Gilmorehill.”
President of the GUU, Rory Slater, told the Glasgow Guardian: “Whilst we are disappointed at the facility not being ready for Freshers’ Week 2015, we see it as a fantastic opportunity to give the launch of the new nightclub the attention and focus it deserves.
“With three new bar spaces and a glass fronted Cafe/Bar along University Avenue, these facilities will be a fantastic asset for our members and also the wider community. It is therefore imperative that we ensure the project is completed to the highest possible standard and get the best we can for our members, even if this means opening a few weeks later than originally planned.”
The GUU has been subsidised by a University deficit fund since the demolition of the old Hive building in 2013, causing the union to run at an estimated loss of £375,000 a year.