So said Warden Ken Macdonald QC announcing the opening to students of Wadham’s Iffley Road accommodation building.
Wadham staff members and Iffley neighbours are invited to view the building on October 4, ahead of students’ arrival at the weekend.
Wadham’s 135 bedroom development provides homes, mostly for second year students who, until now, had lived out of College due to insufficient College owned accommodation. 14 post-graduate students will also be living there this year.
After purchasing the site in May 2015, London based architects Allies and Morrison were appointed to design the building in March 2016 and planning permission was approved for the development at a meeting of Oxford City Council on Tuesday 24 January, 2017. Following demolition works by Beard construction, Gilbert-Ash began construction in October 2017.
The building is designed to blend with other buildings in the local area in terms of external appearance and materials used. Student accommodation is car-free with bicycle storage at the rear of the site.
In addition to a porters lodge at the entrance, the gated Dorothy Wadham building has CCTV, a resident site manager and two Sub Deans to ensure the maintenance of the College’s code of behaviour, high standards and excellent reputation.
The site has an attractive internal courtyard garden, a garden room/TV lounge, a computer room and laundry room. Single occupancy ensuite bedrooms are built in clusters with shared kitchen/dining areas. The site and buildings and eight bedrooms are fully accessible for students with disabilities.
Since the project was conceived, Wadham College has carried out extensive consultation with neighbouring residents and Wadham students. Regular community liaison meetings took place at the neighbouring Gladiator Club, with site visits throughout the process. Wadham College thanks all those who have assisted and provided valuable feedback. Particular thanks go to neighbours who have remained supportive throughout the demolition and construction process.
The 0.95 hectare site was formerly home to Ridgeway Volkswagen car showroom and garage and and included some 11 student flats as well as 12 garages in Percy Street.
A formal opening ceremony will be held soon.