Levine Building project FAQs

FAQs – The Levine Building

What work is taking place?

The Levine Building is a new multi-use building that will provide state-of-the-art residential, teaching and learning facilities. It will include an auditorium, student bedrooms, teaching rooms, offices and community space.  It is located to the South of the existing gardens leading up to Parks Road.  The Levine building will eventually connect to the Memorial Library.

The construction site will extend onto the South Lawn and will also be visible from Parks Road and to the rear of the Jackson building.

How long will the construction work take?

Overall the construction site will be in place at the end of Trinity term 2019 and the Levine building will open Michaelmas term 2021.  Enabling works and the demolition of the existing Cumberbatch building (Staircase IV) are planned from July 2019 through December 2019.

It is planned for the temporary building to be in its location on the North Lawn from now until June 2022. The rest of the site will operate as normal.

Will there be a lot of noise and site traffic? How will it affect the College environment?

During both the demolition and construction phase of the project vehicles will be coming and going from Parks Road using the Stuart Gates and Garden Gates as entrances.  We will update the college community and our neighbours ahead of periods expected to involve particularly noisy work and higher volumes of traffic.

The Memorial Library is close to the site and we want to retain a quiet study space in the College. For this reason provision for additional quiet study space has been made in the temporary building.

What demolition work is taking place?

The project requires the removal of the 1960s Cumberbatch building; this is a six-storey tower with a two-storey link that currently abuts the Memorial Library.

The current gardener’s sheds, glasshouse and polytunnel are also being cleared from the site.  New facilities are to be relocated to the North of college lawns.

Will I still be able to access the Library during the building work?

Yes.  The Memorial Library will still be open around the clock for students to lend and return books.

A new 94 desk study space is being provided in the temporary building on the north lawn to allow study at all times away from the disturbance of the building work.  The temporary building will also provide library offices and printing facilities.

How will Library access change during the works?

Currently the Library is accessed at the upper level through the foyer of the Cumberbatch Building; this is being demolished as part of the Levine Building works. For this reason, an alternative access route will be provided to the upper level of the Library using a footbridge installed in the Library Quad.

The lower level fire escape into the Library Quad is unaltered by the work.

Unfortunately during the work there will be no wheelchair access provided to either level of the Library. Please contact the librarians if you require any assistance.

How will accessibility to the Library be improved by the Levine Building?

The new Levine Building link will provide level access to the Library reception area when approached from either the Library Quad or from the Central Foyer of the Levine building.  A new platform lift in the Library reception area will allow wheelchair access to the retained Library entrances on both levels.

Many of the spaces in college currently have limited accessibility. Will the new building better accommodate those with mobility needs?

The College is currently taking forward a major development that will improve accessibility to both our new and historic facilities, and this is an area of priority for the college going forward. The Levine Building is designed to be fully accessible and will include the following:

  • 8 fully accessible ensuite bedrooms integrated into new student accommodation, all designed to allow for the provision of ceiling mounted hoists.
  • Two student kitchens with accessible work surfaces.
  • New disabled toilets, as well as a changing places facility, in the main building.
  • Hearing Loops in the Auditorium, Function Room and Teaching Rooms.
  • Level access to all public areas and teaching rooms at ground floor level, with two new lifts for access to other floors.
  • A new platform lift to give access to both levels of the War Memorial library.

In a separate project, we are in the process of identifying ways to make some of the other communal areas of college – including the SCR and Beer Cellar – more fully accessible. This will involve a combination of solutions including integrating new lifts into a number of challenging historic spaces, and this work is due to be completed in summer 2022.

Will it still be possible to use the Lawns during the work?

Parts of the South Lawn will be covered by the contractor’s compound.  The temporary building is located on the North Lawn.  We have made plans for there to be space on the lawns for normal use to continue throughout the period of the construction work.

Will we still be able to have a College Ball?

Yes. The College Ball is held every three years and the next one is due in June 2020, and will go forward as planned. The timing will not need to be changed.

The ball is a large event and in previous years has used spaces throughout the site and some of these areas (such as the South Lawn or Library Quad) will not be available.  For that reason attendance numbers at the ball will need to be somewhat reduced, with priority made for those currently studying.

What about students whose time in college will mostly be during construction – are you making any special provision for them?

Special provisions will be made for students living in college during the building project period, including a temporary building with excellent facilities including quiet study space, function and meeting rooms, a kitchen and washing facilities. We do expect a certain level of additional traffic and noise, and will  be sure and inform everyone on a regular basis about what they can expect.


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