Progress report on student hostels development

Theresa Fox


Dr Brian Mitchenere has crossed his fingers many times that a project will be finished on time and according to plan. So the Associate Director of Campus Planning can be excused for having his fingers and toes crossed these days, as the official completion date for Blocks I and II of Phase I of the student hostels project draws near. "The scaffolding is coming down and we're doing all we can to press the builder to be finished on time. But there's a saying in this business that with building contracts, if anything can go wrong, it always does."

The official completion date is 14 April, as the contractors were given extra time because of inclement weather. The Campus Planning Office (CPO) expects Blocks I and II to be completed by the end of April and Block III, which includes the multi-function hall, around the end of May, Dr Mitchenere said.

With the scaffolding coming down, work is progressing on the inside of the buildings. Already, much of the plastering work is completed, the lifts are installed, though not commissioned, and the internal finishing and building services are well under way. "The mock-up for the typical student room has been finished, including the soft furnishing--as has the mock-up of one of the flats in the essential staff quarters," Dr Mitchenere reported.

CPO is hoping to have all the soft furnishing installed by mid-June, which will give CityU staff time to familiarize themselves with the new buildings before the initial influx of students. A group of undergraduate students from Shanghai will be the first to experience hostel life on the CityU campus. They will move in at the beginning of August, followed by our own students at the end of August, in time for the new semester in September.

As for the later phases, Phase II suffered a setback when the contractor filed for court protection in Japan. This had a knock-on effect and worked stopped on the CityU site. The project has been re-tendered and CPO expects work will re-commence on site in early March and that Phase II will be completed by the original date of August 2003.
Tender documentation for Phase III is currently being compiled and the aim is to go to tender for that phase in March, Dr Mitchenere said.

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