Editor’s note: This post was originally published here on the 14th February, 2017. It has been re-uploaded to Hardly Hamilton so that all of my posts are in one place.
Written by Josh Hamilton
Fences around the Old Main Library on the University of Birmingham’s Edgbaston campus have recently received a fresh coat of paint.
The fence, which was erected in September 2016, before the start of the first semester, was previously an olive green. Patches of red decorated the occasional panel, indicating its long history of being reused in various circumstances over the years. Does this suggest that the University can no longer afford new construction site markers?
All throughout last week, however, workmen were busy painting. The panels now feature a dull, matt finish, and are a grisly grey-blue. There is reason to believe that it is now legally required that all construction site fences must be painted in this colour.
Benefits of such a recolouring means that the construction site now stands as separate to the vibrant New Library. Busy students were thought of as unable to notice that the Old Library was out-of-bounds. Reports indicate that those working late at night may have accidentally strolled onto the far-too-hot first floor, in a sleep-deprived state of near-unconsciousness. Such students are still missing.
Staff are hopeful that this problem will desist now that a fresh coat of paint has been applied. At least two cans have been used for the project thus far, and a second layer will be applied imminently. If not, workmen may face creating a spotty assortment of paint patches.
34,000 students and 6,000 members of staff will benefit from the University’s decision to repaint. One student, who chose to remain anonymous, said ‘I think it’s brilliant news. In a world where Strathcona is falling apart, and the 360 Sports Centre has been delayed – what, four times? – the Uni is spending its time and money on paint.
‘Where else but UoB would our 9-grand-a-year be spent on things that aren’t useful? Like more study spaces, and a pharmacy on campus? What a time to be alive.’
What a time to be alive, indeed.
Positivity circulated en masse amongst students. Niamh Coffey, second year History student at The University of Birmingham, said, ‘I can now sleep at night knowing that the temporary building site has been given a fresh coat of paint.
‘The aura of our Uni is more blue than green anyway, and it doesn’t clash with the red brick as much.’
The construction site successfully cordoned off the invaluable work space from students, who were hungry for seats in the New library. Builders have since inhabited the inside of the building, but it is currently unknown whether any work has taken place. Rumours indicate that the electrical wiring has been stripped from the building, and a general mess has been left, but this is as yet unconfirmed speculation.
If reports are to be believed, workmen have been inspired by students, and currently sleep on the Old Library’s sofas in the café. Torn Redbrick newspapers were repurposed as duvets and pillows.
Green Heart, the open space that will replace the Old Library, is slated to be ready for students by 2019. If the University’s track record is to be believed, at least four delays are to be expected.