Frequently Asked Questions (Hilda Besse Renovations Project)

Frequently Asked Questions (Hilda Besse Renovations Project)

Here you will find a list of the most commonly asked questions we get about the Hilda Besse renovations. If you still can't find the answer then please don't hestitate to get in touch at hbb@sant.ox.ac.uk 

What is the Hilda Besse?

Why is the Hilda Besse being renovated? 

How long will the renovations take?

Will there be any access to the Hilda Besse during renovations?​

What will be in the replacement facilities? What happens to the dining hall/bar/common room?​

How are students’ views being taken into account? How can I get involved?

How can I donate to the Hilda Besse renovations project?

I’m a prospective student who plans to live on campus next year, how can I find out more about the rent discounts available to me?

I’m a current student who plans to live on campus, how can I find out more about rent discounts available to me?

What has happened to the trees/memorial/sundial in the quad?

I'm concerned about the noise and other disruptions. What will the working hours be on the project?​

When will the building works start? 

Will the Hilda Besse be open over the summer? What about the Dining Hall?

What about disabled access to the site?

Will Formal Dinners/Bops still take place? If so, where?

I still have questions. Where can I go for more information?

 


What is the Hilda Besse?

The Hilda Besse is the main building of St Antony’s college. It houses many of college’s most important functions, including dining facilities and meeting rooms.  The winner of several prestigious architectural awards, it is considered to be one of the finest examples of a post-war brutalist building anywhere in the world.

 

Why is the Hilda Besse being renovated?

The Hilda Besse has been in constant use since its completion in the late 60’s and is now in need of vital renovations to ensure it can be used in the years to come. The works are important both for the safety and longevity of the building itself, and to improving its ability to serve the college community.

 

How long will the renovations take?

Temporary facilities will be built over the summer holiday of 2019, and work on the building will start in October 2019. These are projected to completed by April 2021 and the site fully restored by June 2021. Please keep an eye out on our website for details of any changes to the temporary structure as the plans are still in development.  

 

Will there be any access to the Hilda Besse during renovations?​

No, the building will be inaccessible for the duration of the works. However, temporary facilities located in the quad will replace all of the Hilda Besse’s vital functions during that time.

 

What will be in the replacement facilities? What happens to the dining hall/bar/common room?​

All of the Hilda Besse’s facilities will be replicated in the temporary structure. This includes all the social spaces, including the dining hall/kitchens, buttery and bar, and the common rooms.

 

How are students’ views being taken into account? How can I get involved?

Students’ views are extremely important in this project, and there are several ways that you can become directly involved. Firstly, there is a student Hilda Besse ‘Bexit’ committee which is consulted on all aspects of the renovations. All are welcome to join, and representatives from this committee are also on the College’s Building Committee overseeing the works.

Secondly, members of the GCR also sit on several other college committees, including the Management Executive Team and Governing Body. Please speak to the GCR President (Nainika Dinesh) if you would like more information on how the GCR committee represents you, or if you are interested in joining the student Hilda Besse committee.

 

How can I donate to the Hilda Besse renovations project?

We welcome any and all donations to the Hilda Besse renovations project and there are also various naming opportunities available. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch to discuss by emailing the development team at hbcampaign@sant.ox.ac.uk or calling on 01865 274496. Please see this page for more information.

 

I’m a prospective student who plans to live on campus next year, how can I find out more about the rent discounts available to me?

There will be rent discounts available for those students living in certain rooms on the quad. Depending on proximity of individual rooms to the site of the works discounts will be between 5-10%. Please contact accommodation@sant.ox.ac.uk to find out more about specific rooms.

 

I’m a current student who plans to live on campus, how can I find out more about rent discounts available to me?

There will be rent discounts available for those students living in certain rooms on the quad. Depending on proximity of individual rooms to the site of the works discounts will be between 5-10%. Please contact accommodation@sant.ox.ac.uk to find out more about specific rooms.

 

What has happened to the trees/memorial/sundial in the quad?

The plans for the Hilda Besse renovations envisage opening up the quad and the views of the building from Bevington road in line with the original design intent. Some of the trees were removed to enable us to locate the temporary accommodation, and later to create a new communal outdoor space after the renovations. The memorial tree for a past student will be relocated while the sundial will be found a new home in the college after the works are complete.

 

I'm concerned about noise and other disruptions. What will the working hours be on the project?

The working hours will be between 8am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

 

When will the building works start?

Works for the temporary structure started on the 14th August.  The first parts of the temporary structure, ‘Hilda Box’,  were put up on the 19th of August. Work on the Hilda Besse itself will start in September.

Will the Hilda Besse be open over the summer? What about the Dining Hall?

The Hilda Besse will stay open during the summer, and the dining facilities will close as usual for the summer vacation. This means there will be no catering from after lunch on the Friday 16th of August until a reduced catering service resumes on the 23rd of September. The Hilda Besse building itself won’t close until the temporary facilities are completed at the end of September.

 

What about disabled access to the site?

The temporary structure will have full disabled acccess.  The renovations to the Hilda Besse building itself will greatly improve disabled access at St Antony’s, and is one of the main goals of the works taking place. 

 

Will Formal Dinners/Bops still take place? If so, where?

Formal hall (formal dinners) and bops (college parties) will continue to take place throughout the renovations. These will be held in the temporary structure. 

 

I still have questions. Where can I go for more information?

Please don’t hesitate to email any questions to hbb@sant.ox.ac.uk