Months after originally planned, renovations at the Ruskin School of Art’s new Bullingdon Road site have finished thanks to students helping out in a “wall building marathon”.
Over half of the university’s Fine Art students had been left for weeks without access to studio space. In order to speed up the creation of such work space, students were asked by the Ruskin administration to assist with the renovations themselves.
In an email from a member of staff , students were told, “You have been asking and asking for proper studio spaces and now the day is finally upon us…We really could use as many pairs of hands as we can get over the next two days to really get the studios properly up and running”.
The renovations took place over the summer and were originally scheduled to finish in September. The studio space was finally finished last Friday.
One Fine Art student, who wishes to remain anonymous, has told Cherwell, “It seems very unfair to the students, especially international students who are paying over a hundred pounds a day, that the Ruskin didn’t have studio space ready for students until Friday of Third Week.”
However, Angeli Bhose, a third-year undergraduate studying at the Ruskin, stated, “The new building was a hugely ambitious project – about two years passed between us first hearing about it and us moving in to the finished building.
“There have been some teething problems, as you could expect with any brand new purposebuilt building, but everyone has been working really hard to get everything up and running. As we all get settled in, we are excited to begin hatching some shows and events to invite the wider community in to see what we’re making using the new facilities and space!”
Another anonymous Ruskin student added, “There have been issues moving in (as you’d expect really – imagine shifting half the Bod libraries at once!) but the students, the staff and the University are all working on the same team to get it sorted, and to help us make up for the time we’ve lost.
“The new studio is world-class and the entire faculty have worked incredibly hard to get it made, so while it is disruptive to have these issues, we’re all working co-operatively – on the same side – to get the best solution.”
As well as providing new studio space, the 1,600 square-metre site can also accommodate the addition of a future master’s course.
The Ruskin School of Art declined to respond to Cherwell’s request for comment