Hopes that the next phase of the Beit redevelopment plan could be started before the end of 2007 have been dashed, after College refused to hand over the money for the project. In a report to the ICU Executive Committee the ICU President, Stephen Brown, announced that the project has been put on hold until at least 2008. College has refused to support any ICU capital investment programme until they have confidence in the Union?s financial management systems.
Controversial plans passed by the previous executive committee in June revealed that ICU?s finances were to be controlled by a member of the college?s finance division, in return for the £3.2m needed for the refurbishment. This change has now taken place, with the newly restructured finance division snowed under preparing for this year's audit, while club and CSC chairs grow increasingly irritated at the lack of up to date financial information available to them. The College is still showing a lack of faith in the Union's finance systems, despite the Union's finance department now being run by one of their own. ICU President Stephen Brown will be holding weekly meetings with Imperial's finance division, in an attempt to have the issues resolved as soon as possible.
This setback is not the first unforeseen delay in the refurbishment. Asbestos was discovered in the central core of Beit in summer 2006, and the furniture for the refurbishment in Da Vinci?s arrived an entire term after the refurbished bar was reopened. In February, the toilets were blocked: the fifty year old drainage system unable to cope, particularly as it had not been cleaned since the mid-70s. Over a year after the refurbishment started, there is still no definite answer as to when it will be finished.