Work begins on new Somerville accommodation

The new block will enable 68 more students to live on-site

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Work has begun on a Somerville accommodation block in Jericho, which will take all Somerville undergraduates out of private rented housing. The site, located on Walton Street, aims to provide bedrooms for 68 students.

The proposition proved controversial in the planning stage, after concerns that archaeological remains from the English Civil War lie beneath the site. Construction began on the building on 11th January this year.

It will be named after the late Catherine Hughes, principal of Somerville between 1989 and 1996. Dr Trevor Hughes, Catherine’s husband, marked the occasion by putting the first shovel in the ground.

The work on the Walton Street site will be undertaken alongside the construction of a further 42 rooms. They will be added to the rear of 25-27 Little Clarendon Street, a Somerville College owned property. 110 bedrooms will be built in total across both sites.

The college treasurer, Andrew Parker, said: “The Catherine Hughes building will help us to achieve one of our long-held goals: to accommodate all of our undergraduates on site.

“We know that this will bring our Somerville community even closer together.

“It will also offer a significant benefit for applicants choosing Somerville, and will be particularly important to those who might otherwise be deterred by the cost of having to live out for a year.”

The building is expected to be completed in October 2019.