Exeter College is housing 86 of its students in a hotel in Wolvercote due to the continued construction work on the planned accommodation in Cohen Quad. The new quadrangle, located on Walton Street, was scheduled to be completed on 11 August, but that date has slipped twice. The project is now slated for completion by the 31 October.
In the meantime, 86 second-, third-, and fourth-year students who would otherwise have taken up residence in Cohen Quad at the beginning of the term will instead be temporarily housed at the Jury’s Inn Hotel in Wolvercote. The college will be paying the students’ accommodation costs for the duration of their stay, and, due to the hotel’s location, all students have been issued with bus passes for travel to the city centre. A common room has been created at the hotel, and Exeter staff will have an active office at the hotel seven days a week.
Exeter’s accommodation office stated that “there is no single reason as to why the building is delayed; the site and building are complex and it has taken longer to complete than anticipated.
The whole College community remains excited and enthusiastic about what Cohen Quad will achieve for this and future generations of Exeter students.”
Exeter’s JCR committee, when asked for comment, gave this response: “We are incredibly excited for Exeter to have new and modern accommodation for its students, just round the corner from our Turl Street site. Obviously it’s disappointing that Cohen Quad isn’t ready for the start of term but the new Quad will be more than just accommodation, providing lecture theatres, study spaces and a common room amongst other things, something that we feel will be worth the wait. In the meantime, the facilities in the Jury’s Inn are proving more than up to scratch, with the students living there getting much support from college staff and perks (including a swimming pool) to go with it”.
The property that is to be Cohen Quad previously belonged to Ruskin College, an adult-learning institution with strong ties to the University whose alumni include the former deputy Prime Minister John Prescott and the Labour MP Dennis Skinner. Exeter acquired the campus in 2010 in order to create a “third quad” in central Oxford.