Oxford's oldest student newspaper

Independent since 1920

Major leak at St Catherine’s forces students to leave accommodation

Daisy Aitchison reports after a flood in St Catherine's boiler room required the attendance of the fire brigade.

Students at St Catherine’s College have been forced to move to new accommodation following a “major leak” in the boiler room.

The flood, which occurred in the early hours of Friday morning, required the attendance of the fire brigade to pump out water from the room. The college later confirmed to students that as a consequence of the leak, both the college’s heating and water supplies were damaged. Students in some accommodation blocks have subsequently been forced to move to temporary rooms until the faults can be fixed.

Meal provision within the college has also been impacted, with no catering available to most students through to at least Tuesday. Those who are isolating will still be able to have food delivered to their rooms, although this will be “a frozen meal instead of a hot lunch”.

In a string of emails sent throughout the day, students at the college were told:

“We have been working through the night to restore the college water supply after our main boiler house flooded..

“Unfortunately it looks unlikely that we will be able to restore the water supply to Staircase 1 – 16 by the end of today.

“Staircase 17 – 19 is self-sufficient from a heating and hot water point of view, so I’ve made the decision to move the residents from Staircase 1 – 16,  who currently have no water, over to Staircase 17 – 19.

“We will also be providing heaters to everyone in college as our central heating system will not be working for the foreseeable future. The heaters have been ordered and will be available for collection from the Lodge later this afternoon.

“PLEASE make sure you follow Covid regulations when moving over to your temporary room – keep your distance from others and wear a face covering.

“Do not worry about moving all of your things over today – moves can be complete by Sunday evening.

“Do not forget to check that all the taps in your staircase are turned off when you leave, this is to avoid possible staircase flooding, when the water does come back on!”

Students at the college have since confirmed that they have been provided with temporary heaters for their rooms.

St Catherine’s has also promised to refund students’ Upay accounts for any meals which they had already booked and which will no longer be provided. Students in isolation who do not wish to receive a frozen (instead of hot) meal can also ask to be reimbursed.

Photo Credit: Kenneth Yarham. Licence:CC BY-SA 2.0.

Check out our other content

Most Popular Articles