University to spend £8.3 million on temporary “modular accommodation” for maths and stats

8771421584_dbc1bc8b74_o

Fraser McGowan
Contributing Editor

The University is to spend £8.3 million on relocating the School of Mathematics and Statistics to temporary “modular accommodation”, enabling the demolition of the Maths Building to make way for the new Learning and Teaching Hub.

The “decant”, expected to last for five years, will mean that staff and students within the School of Maths and Statistics will be housed in a temporary structure until a permanent home can be built for them as part of the wider campus redevelopment.

“Modular buildings” are prefabricated structures, which are much quicker to construct than conventional buildings. The temporary structure is expected to be on the site of what was the Western Infirmary, near University Place. The move is expected to take place in December this year.

Despite initial concerns about the “contingency element” in the budget for the move, the potential effects on the recruitment and retention of staff and students over the five-year period, and the lifespan of the modular building in terms of the cost, the University Court approved the capital expenditure application in June. It is understood that much of the teaching that would have taken place in the Maths Building will take place elsewhere on campus.

A spokesman for the University told The Glasgow Guardian in April: “A full options appraisal to find a location for the new modular complex to house Maths and Stats was undertaken. The site, located on the periphery of the Western Infirmary with access and aspect to University Place was identified as it provides linkages to the campus and proximity to Boyd Orr, where Maths and Stats undertake teaching.

“This site was also identified due to sufficient size available to allow Maths and Stats to fully explore their innovative approaches in a new, modern, fit for purpose space…We have an indicative timeline and are being supported through this process by a team of experts. This timeline will be continually tested and nothing will be done that places too great a pressure or inconvenience on our staff and students.”

The structure in question is expected to be usable for longer than the five years it will be needed to house displaced staff and students from the School of Mathematics and Statistics. The University Court is yet to approve the business case for the Learning and Teaching Hub, but it is expected to be built on the site of the existing Maths Building and the car park adjacent to the Boyd Orr Building.