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Fry Building Update

27 February 2018

The University’s Fry Building, currently the subject of major renovation, was damaged by fire on the evening of 6th January 2018. The building, which is being extensively refurbished and extended by the contractor Balfour Beatty, suffered damage to the two upper floors and roof of its south wing. Thanks to a remarkable response from the Avon Fire and Rescue Service, supported by staff from the Estates Office and from the Faculty of Science, the damage caused by the fire was limited to these two floors, with some water damage elsewhere in the building and to the adjacent Earth Sciences laboratories.

The site is now up and running again and construction work progresses across all areas other than the two floors damaged by the fire. Clearly the fire has had an additional impact on the programme and we await confirmation of when the building works are likely to be completed. The University is hoping to take possession of those parts that were not fire damaged by the end of 2018 but that remains to be proven.

Speaking about the fire, Patrick Finch, Bursar and Director of Estates, said:

'We are very grateful to Avon Fire and Rescue Service for the speed with which they responded and their efficiency in bringing the fire under control. Without this, there was a very real risk of the fire spreading to other parts of the Fry Building and possibly to adjacent buildings as well. While this clearly causes further problems for the project, we are pleased that Balfour Beatty have been able to restart works elsewhere in the building as we work collectively to bring this much needed space back into use.

Once completed, the Fry Building will become the new home for the School of Mathematics. This in turn will release space in Howard House and in the Mathematics building in University Walk for redeployment for other growth areas in the University. The Howard House space has been allocated to the School of Economics, Finance and Management, who have already taken possession of two floors of the building following refurbishment works that completed at Christmas.