After years of intensive lobbying by your student representatives, the iconic Queen's Tower is set to be converted to Clubs, Societies & Projects storage space over the Easter College Closure period.
How it came about
The lack of storage space for Clubs, Societies & Projects (CSPs) has been a major student complaint for decades. Following the College’s disappointing performance in last year’s National Student Survey the College leadership decided that the time was right to prioritise solving this issue.
Over the last two terms, James Cox, your Deputy President (Clubs & Societies), and Nas Andriopoulos, your President, have been in discussions with College Estates & Facilities to identify potential locations at South Kensington, before finally settling on the conversion of Queen's Tower in March.
James Cox, Deputy President (Clubs & Societies), commented on the announcement: “I am really happy that College have finally taken the needs of students seriously and are investing in improving the student experience. CSPs are what makes Imperial a unique and fun place to study - this is another big win for the Union and for clubs!”.
This follows the last big victory for students earlier this year when the Union convinced College to install air-conditioning in the library, and provide a separate student sauna elsewhere on site.
Cox went on to say: “My manifesto pledges are now delivered, wake me up when I need to leave in July”.
"Wake me up when I need to leave in July" - James Cox
The proposed storage solution will require minor internal modifications to the Queen's Tower, including the installation of mezzanine levels and a lift. However, the changes proposed to the grade II listed building are not expected to interfere with the popular guided tours of the Tower. In fact, it is suggested that the lift may allow a higher volume of visitors, and the College are currently scoping out the feasibility of charging tourists for trips up the tower.
Other options the committee considered, but ultimately discarded, included: abandoning the new Dyson Design Engineering building, converting the idle Jazz & Rocks studio situated in the West Basement into cupboards, and following the Albert Hall's tune by excavating the Beit Quadrangle courtyard.
Works will be completed in time for students' return in Summer Term.
Who will get the space
Imperial College Union now has over 370 CSPs, the most of any University in the UK, and at current growth rates will break the 400 mark during the next academic year.
The President and Provost of College, will be offered space underneath Metric
Our boxing and martial arts clubs will be the first to move their equipment into Queen's Tower, enabling thousands more students to experience the unique opportunities, and smells, created by Imperial students in their spare time.
Wider CSP consultation will take place, but the Union plans to offer highly active societies, such as DocSoc, Jenga Soc, Acrophobia Soc and RCC Canoe, the rest of the space in the Tower based on need.
Even with this massive success for students, finding enough storage spaces will continue to be an issue for our 370+ Clubs, Societies and Projects. However we are pleased to announce that further negotiations are underway for the conversion of the entire Faculty Building into storage space by this Christmas; it will be rebranded as the Cyan & Magenta Cube in line with Imperial College Union's brand colours. In exchange, Professors Alice Gast and James Stirling, the President and Provost of Imperial College London, will be offered space by the racks underneath Metric, whilst the rest of the College's Central Administration will be automated in line with the Operational Excellence project timeline.
We estimate that by 2021, the entirety of the South Kensington campus will have been converted into club storage space. This will be just in time for the White City campus to open, retrofitted to be a dedicated minibus parking facility.