View all news

What's changing at Senate House

4 June 2019

New spaces to eat and relax

You told us that there aren’t enough places to eat and relax on campus and there’s a shortage of space and lack of choice. We’ve listened and we’re happy to share the news that the food court in Senate House is scheduled to be ready in September 2020, a year earlier than originally planned.

Housed in a glass-fronted, two-storey atrium, the new space will include a dining area, SU café/bar and a large food court with a range of food options and prices to suit every pocket. With seating for over 300 people, there will be plenty of space to meet, relax or study. 

Soon hoardings will go up around the building offering you a glimpse of your new space, as well as to let you know what’s happening when and where. As with any building work of this scale there will be some disruption day to day but we’re doing all we can to minimise the impact, and the most disruptive work is scheduled over the summer when many of you will be away.  If you are here this summer, we’ll do our best to let you know in advance about noise.

As work gets started on the lower floors, Senate House will close from 10 June to 23 September 2019 and the student services will temporarily relocate over the summer. The services that were piloted in Senate House this year, such as the Bristol SU Living Room, the Postgraduate Research Hub and the Information Point, will re-open in September albeit in different locations. Student feedback tells us that it is preferable to provide these services alongside noise, rather than closing for a year.

Although we hope most of you will not be significantly affected by the building work, some classes will still have to be timetabled into Senate House from September.  We will set up regular communications to keep you informed about what’s happening when, but what we’ve learnt from other construction projects is that it can be difficult to predict noise levels, so please bear with us. Our priority is for the building work to have as little impact on your day-to-day activities as possible, so new spaces are opening up around campus for you to study and relax in.

Students choose to keep the name Senate House

Over the last few months we gathered over 1,700 responsesfrom you on the renaming of Senate House through an online survey, workshops and a street survey. 

Over 500 of you took part in the online survey and workshops to shortlist the popular names.  These were then put to a representative sample group of over 1,000 students through a street survey, which resulted in students choosing the name Senate House as their number one choice.

Senate House was chosen by 22% of students, followed by Student Hub (11%), Jo Cox Building (10%) and Campus Heart (10%).

So, the name Senate House will remain for now and will be revisited after the building reopens with the new food court and student-facing services and facilities in September 2020.

Students help shape what’s in Senate House

The Senate House naming consultation has told us that what we call the building is less important than what goes on in it. So we’ve spent the last month exploring with you which services should be in Senate House, as it becomes a student hub, and these views will be used to inform decisions about the building. More updates will follow next term.





Edit this page