Campus development update for Student Experience Committee

Ok, time for an experiment:

Every couple of months, we produce a formal update for Student Experience Committee – a round-up of our latest Learning Landscapes and campus development plans. There is so much good stuff planned for this year, we thought: why not share it with everyone? So here it is, raw and uncut, so you can see what the Committee sees.

Estates & Commercial Facilities update

Please find below an update as requested by the Committee on 21 March 2013.

1       Campus improvements for 2013/14

The Estates & Commercial Facilities team has developed an unprecedented programme of student experience improvement projects for implementation this year. These projects include improvements to existing buildings and spaces as well as the construction of new ones. Following the latest Senior Management Team approvals on 25 March and the approval of our campus development masterplan by the City of Lincoln Council on 27 March, we can now confirm the following projects for delivery this year:

1.1      New AAD Building – the new building will bring together teaching, learning and research across the Schools of Architecture and Art & Design and enable Art & Design students and staff to take full advantage of the Brayford Pool campus. The building will provide new studios, workshops, specialised IT and printing facilities and staff offices, and will be connected to the existing AAD Building via a new sculpture terrace at second floor level and a new gallery on the ground floor.

1.2      University Library Phase 1.5 – the Library extension will provide a new informal study area; a new group room; and two new seminar rooms (UL110 and UL111) which will double as extra group rooms outside of teaching times.

1.3      Student Village – the second phase of the four-year Student Village refurbishment plan will be carried out this summer. In this phase, Courts 6 – 12 will be refurbished internally (322 study bedrooms and 57 kitchens in total) with new lighting, carpets, kitchen units and worktops and redecoration throughout, while Courts 1 – 5 will be renovated and redecorated externally.

1.4      MAB third floor – this floor will be extensively remodelled to provide three new seminar and staff development rooms (MB3201, MB3202 and MB3203), which have been designed in response to Student as Producer. The rooms will be equipped with custom-designed tables and mobile whiteboards to facilitate collaboration during seminars. The tables will have built-in power sockets for mobile devices. The new rooms will be timetabled postgraduate-first to ensure postgraduate seminars are appropriately accommodated. Two folding partitions will enable the three new rooms to be used as one large space for Open Days and other special events.

A new lounge adjacent to the new seminar rooms will provide comfortable breakout and study space for all students, with power, Wi-Fi and excellent views over the Atrium and Brayford Pool. The existing south-facing outdoor terrace off MB3201/02/03 will be decked and furnished to provide another attractive breakout space for fair-weather use by students and staff.

1.5      Jackson Lecture Theatre – the JLT will be extended from 250 to 330 seats to reduce repeat teaching and enable larger cohorts to be taught together. The display system will be enhanced to improve viewing angles and distances.

1.6      Nursing expansion – Think Tank units 3 and 4 will be converted into new training facilities for Nursing students, doubling the floor area available for primary care and secondary care training.

1.7      Business & Law Building – two new seminar rooms (BL2100 and BL2111a) will be created in response to increased student numbers in the Business School and Law School. The rooms will be equipped similarly to the popular MB1012/19/20 with Node chairs, mobile whiteboards and plants, providing new teaching and learning options to complement the 16 seminar rooms already in the building.

1.8      EMMTEC – two new seminar rooms (MT207 and MT208) will be created on the second floor. The rooms will be equipped similarly to MB1012/19/20 with Node chairs, mobile whiteboards and plants. Like MB3201/02/03, these rooms will be timetabled postgraduate-first to ensure postgraduate seminars are appropriately accommodated.

1.9      Bridge House – a new lecture room (BH0101) and a new seminar room (BH0105) will be created on the ground floor. BH0101 will be a flat-floor room but the rear two rows will have raised stools and benches to improve viewing angles for students at the back of the room. BH0105 will be equipped similarly to MB1012/19/20 with Node chairs, mobile whiteboards and plants.

1.10    MHT Building – a new seminar room (MC3107) will be created on the third floor. The room will be equipped similarly to MB1012/19/20 with Node chairs, mobile whiteboards and plants. Computing Labs A and D (MC3202 and MC3203) will be knocked together to create a larger lab for more efficient teaching. If budgets allow, we will also make some improvements to existing seminar rooms MC0019 and MC0020 on the ground floor.

1.11    English Language Centre – the Centre’s new space (MB1104) will be improved with new furniture and AV equipment to support English language tuition for international students.

1.12    Village Hall – this building will become Study Group’s main base on campus, with classrooms, IT facilities and staff offices to support increased numbers of students on Study Group programmes. Please note: the Prayer Room will remain in VH2004 until new facilities in Witham House are ready (see item 2.2 below) and will not be affected by this change.

1.13    Landscaping – we are working with re-form ( to design a landscaping plan for the whole Brayford Pool campus. We expect concept designs to be completed shortly and will present these for SMT consideration and wider consultation later in May. Subject to SMT approval, we hope to implement the first phase of the plan in time for September.

1.14    New room booking system – we are contributing to a project led by ICT Services and Registry to develop a new web-based room booking system to make it easier for all students and staff to view and book available rooms across campus.

1.15    New maintenance contract and management system – we are investing in a major effort to improve maintenance service quality across the University estate. We expect a new prime maintenance contractor to be in place by the end of this year. In parallel with this, we are replacing our maintenance management system with Planon to enable improvements to both proactive and reactive maintenance.

1.16    We are still finalising a few other projects and hope to announce these shortly.

2       Looking further ahead

2.1      Joseph Banks Laboratories and Minster House – these new teaching and research facilities for the Schools of Life Sciences and Pharmacy will be completed in July 2014. This project represents an unprecedented investment in the University’s research infrastructure, and will also enable further integration of research-engaged teaching into undergraduate curricula in these Schools. Migration of staff and research into the new buildings will release space across campus, enabling new facilities to be created for other students and staff next year.

2.2      Witham House – plans are being developed for the conversion of Witham House to provide improved facilities for prayer, spirituality and secular contemplation for all students and staff. The conversion project will begin once the current occupants of Witham House have moved into the Joseph Banks Laboratories. The new facilities are expected to be ready for the start of the 2014/15 academic year.

2.3      Brayford Wharf East footbridge – Network Rail’s planning application for a new footbridge over the railway at Brayford Wharf East was approved by the City of Lincoln Council on 27 March. Archaeology and geotechnical surveys are underway. Network Rail is aiming to start construction work in July, which will necessitate closure of Brayford Wharf East to road vehicles (but not pedestrians). This project will also relocate the historic Signal Box onto the edge of the Brayford Pool, and will provide new habitats for the wildfowl which currently use the slipway on Brayford Wharf East.

2.4      We already have a busy programme of work for Summer 2014, including the migration into the Joseph Banks Laboratories and Minster House, the Witham House conversion project, and various other improvements to teaching, learning and social spaces across the campus. If anyone has further ideas or suggestions for 2014 projects, please share them with us ASAP.

2.5      Long-term planning – the University’s strategic plans for improvement and growth in student and staff numbers will necessitate the construction of several major new buildings in coming years. We are in the early stages of planning for these. In parallel, we are planning a rolling renewal programme to ensure that existing buildings and spaces are also enhanced over time.

3       Seeking and integrating student and staff participation and feedback

3.1      Learning Landscapes site – this site (accessible at is now the top source of information for University students and staff interested in campus development. As of 17 April, there have been over 15,000 page views by 4,850 unique visitors during 2012/13. We have recently expanded the site from the original blog, and we plan to further enhance and publicise the site throughout the summer and the 2013/14 academic year.

3.2      Student-Staff Conference – the Seminar Room Design workshop at the Conference on 1 February proved to be an invaluable source of feedback and design inspiration for new teaching and learning spaces. Students and staff shared clear and detailed views on the many physical / environmental and social / interpersonal factors which contribute to great seminar experiences. As far as possible, we have designed this year’s new teaching and learning spaces to integrate these success factors:

What makes a great seminar? Responses from participants in Seminar Room
Design workshop at University of Lincoln Student-Staff Conference 2013:

Social / interpersonal attributes Physical / environmental attributes
People talking! Open environment
Small groups Acoustics
Ability to get involved Ease of movement
Lecturer sat with us Moveable furniture
Encouraging conversation Flexibility of room
More participation Toys to play with!
Group involvement No barriers: no desks at the front
Better understanding Furniture design: flexibility
Less distraction
Good lighting
Appropriate temperature: not too cold

3.3      Student surveys – in 2013/14, we will integrate student comments from NSS, PTES, PRES and Level 1 and 2 surveys into a single qualitative analysis to inform Estates & Commercial Facilities project and service development during 2013/14 and 2014/15. This new approach builds on past years’ qualitative analyses of NSS comments but will be more comprehensive.

3.4      Project Steering Groups – most, if not all, Project Steering Groups now include at least one student representative. This is proving to be a valuable addition to project decision-making which affects so many current and future students.

3.5      Postgraduate Facilities Meeting – we attended the meeting on 27 March, which was very useful and enabled us to answer postgraduates’ questions as well as sharing news of our progress on improving postgraduate facilities.

3.6      Twitter – we now receive and resolve feedback from students almost every day via @LincolnEstates. Increasingly, students contact us directly; others are referred to us by @unilincoln or @GCWLibrary. The majority of issues raised so far are temperature-related and can be resolved by adjusting our building management systems.

3.7      Room information panels – this summer, we will be installing room information panels in all centrally timetabled teaching and learning spaces. These will include contact information for ICT, Maintenance and Space Planning. If this is successful, we will consider rolling out similar panels to other spaces across the campus to facilitate students and staff letting us know about problems.

3.8      Project evaluation – we will run evaluation exercises on the new teaching and learning environments being created this summer in order to inform new projects.

We are very excited about the changes we are making to improve the student experience for 2013/14, and look forward to seeing the new and improved facilities in use.

For more information on campus developments, please visit the Learning Landscapes site (, tweet @LincolnEstates or email

3 thoughts on “Campus development update for Student Experience Committee

  1. Pingback: Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey 2013 | Learning Landscapes

  2. Hi Sam,
    Really interesting to see the plans that you have. Very curious about the updated room bookings.
    I would certainly love to see something like this regularly, however perhaps precis’ed before hand to give a quick overview.

    • Thanks, James – glad you found it interesting.

      Yes, it is a rather lengthy post. We might go digital-only or digital-first for future SEC updates, in which case the SEC posts would be more concise but filled with links for people who want more detail.

      The new booking system will be a really important step forward for 2013/14.

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