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Work begins on University's new ‘Learning Commons’

20 Aug 2009

World-class learning environment due to open in 2012

site of new Learning Commons

Work has begun on the development of the University’s iconic £30 million ‘Learning Commons’ building which aims to provide a world-class 21st century learning environment for students here at the University.

Demolition work has just started on the former Refectory and Moberly Tower buildings which are flanked by Oxford Road, Lime Grove and Burlington Street.

The Learning Commons, which is due to open its doors in the summer of 2012, will provide:

  • More than 1,000 flexible learning spaces in Phase One
  • Stimulating and comfortable surroundings
  • High quality IT facilities
  • A campus hub for student-centered activities
  • A variety of learning support services

Commenting on the development of the Learning Commons, Professor Colin Stirling, Vice-President for Teaching and Learning said: "The Learning Commons will be a beacon for student learning and demonstrates the University’s genuine commitment to students and the provision of high quality learning spaces fit for contemporary learning practices."

Jan Wilkinson, University Librarian said: "This is a perfect example of the Library reaching beyond its boundaries to work collaboratively with its partners across the University to create a learning environment suited to the needs of future generations of students."

Sustainability will be a major feature of the new building, which will include energy efficiency measures such as lighting sensitive to natural lighting and occupancy, CO2 monitoring to minimize energy wastage. 

In addition to the building itself, public realm improvements will also be made to the surrounding area. 

More details about the scheme, including visuals of how the building will look, will be made available to staff and students towards the end of this year.

Hoardings have been erected and the demolition contractor, Connell, has moved onto site. While the demolition is in progress it will no longer be possible for vehicles to park on Burlington Street. Anyone with car parking enquiries should contact

Demolition work is due to continue until March 2010.