The undergraduate common area on level 2 has been affectionately dubbed the ?Airport Lounge', not due to sponsorship by BAA but rather due to the striking resemblance rows of blue chairs with inadequate table space make to the departure lounges in airports across the country. There are a number of areas identified where improvements to the Airport Lounge could be made, these include but are not limited to;
- The lack of table space for working with laptops and writing
- The untidy appearance of scattered chairs after busy periods
- The lack of 'comfortable' chairs and sofas
- Queues at the coffee machine at peak times
That said the Airport Lounge is not all bad, it must also be considered that the currently maligned chairs can be flexibly arranged to allow out of hours events such as careers fairs, poster presentations and catering events to take place.
In order to obtain funding, it is necessary to state why the proposed alterations will benefit the study environment and allow students to work more efficiently. In this edition of Livic illustrates the current Airport Lounge layout and a proposed version with alterations made, commenting on the benefits of those alterations. The following improvements have been proposed;
- The rotating of the 4 fire doors that lead to the central staircase by 90 degrees - effectively adding another 9m2 to the airport lounge
- The introduction of a second coffee vending machine
- The introduction of benching along the window side of the Airport Lounge
- The introduction of more comfortable and rigid seating space
- The introduction of a vending cup recycling bin
With regards to applying for funding these improvements can be said to improve the student environment in many aspects. The rotating of the fire doors effectively includes 'dead space' into the Airport Lounge, the extra wall space provided can be used for notice boards or the imminent photo board for all undergraduate students. During class breaks, there is only limited time to obtain refreshments and lengthy queues may prevent students from buying a drink during break, also these queues will congest the free space in the Airport Lounge, making it difficult to pass through. A second coffee vending machine would help reduce queues and the possibility of there being no coffee available due to the machine stocks running out. The introduction of benches along the window side of the Airport Lounge would provide an environment where students could use laptops on the college network, read, write or eat lunch as in a typical coffee shop environment. The stools provided should be able to tuck in under the bench to maximise free space when not in use. The introduction of the sofas would allow students to relax during breaks and off-peak hours while reading or discussing matters in a group. The introduction of a vending machine cup recycling bin would help reduce waste and especially help prevent the contamination of the plastic bottle & can recycling bin, which expressly does not accept these type of cups.
CIVSOC are currently using the above proposal to attempt to obtain funding for the work required however the precise nature of the work can vary from the proposal so long as the purpose is the same. So if there are any other improvements that you think should be included please bring your suggestions to the attention of CIVSOC, remembering to state why you feel these would benefit the student environment.