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The Students' Union Hub coming soon

Thursday 25 October 2012

At Mile End Campus, the Hive East has now reopened with enhanced study and tutorial spaces, the bookshop is now open and bigger than before, and work continues on the Students’ Union Hub, which will be a brand new space dedicated to students and run by the Students’ Union. The works are a significant investment of £5m from QM to enhance the student experience by improving facilities, security and the physical space.

Babs Williams, Students' Union President said: “The Hub will finally allow the Union to manage a dedicated communal space. For the first time, the Union is able to offer our societies, sports clubs and student groups a vibrant and dynamic space to meet and organise. From opening the Hub will be a centre for the Union’s efforts to strengthen and expand our campus community for the benefit of all students at Queen Mary.”

On a recent tour of the site, QM Student took some pictures of the progress so far and Bruna Santandrea, Project Manager, shared updates on what’s happening next.

More about the Students' Union Hub

John Smith and Son's Bookshop

The bookshop is now open for business in a newly refurbished space. The entrance is from within the campus, to the right of the Ground Café. The old entrance via Mile End Road is now completely closed off, in order to improve security on the campus. The bookshop is larger, following the removal of the offices that used to be under the stairs to the Hive.

New Square between Ground and Arts Two

The bookshop entrance is under the Hive sign, the entrance to the Hive is up the steps on the right, and the main entrance to the new Hub is to the left of the bookshop door. Find a map of Mile End campus here.

The back wall of the Hub building has been removed to create a spacious square outside, and a well lit meeting room inside. The thick, re-enforced concrete wall was removed using hand-held equipment. This took longer than expected but was used rather than quicker, large machinery, so that the noise and vibrations were minimised and our neighbours and library users were disturbed as little as possible. The fire exit is now on the wall of the Ground Café, rather than in the new set of windows, as the concrete floor base proved too thick to remove to the required depth within the budget and timeframe of the project.

The large new meeting room between Ground and ArtsTwo, and opposite the back of the library.

The works have been delayed due to a flood that soaked the walls and floors in most of the building. The photo shows one of the many driers now fixing the damage by drying out the Hub – it’s the red box at the end of the corridor. The works are now expected to be complete by late October/early November for the SU to take ownership of. Further updates about when they’ll move in and open up the building will follow.

Social area within the Hub

Large open social hub area which continues to the left hand side. Entrance to the bookshop on the left, reception with glass partition in the centre, which is open on both sides.

Same area from a different angle, shows the large social hub space, and some of the paint colours being considered by the SU.

View from the other side of the double sided reception

SU offices within the Hub 

Office on the ground floor, running between the Mile End Road and the social hub space.

The meeting room facing the back of the library, on the first floor.

Ground Café

The Ground Café will remain fully open throughout the works.

Hive East

The Hive East has now reopened, having been closed since February 2012. This space has been redecorated to provide a bright and social study space for students to work together in groups. Acoustic panels have been hung from the ceilings to absorb and contain noise, so students can work together without disturbing others. Over 45 computers and new printing facilities are available in this area.

Because of the on-going building works to the remainder of the building, there are currently no toilet facilities available in The Hive East. The nearest facilities are in the Library or on the ground floor of the G.O. Jones building, which can be reached via The Hive West.

The landscaped area and temporary building

The temporary building on the site of the demolished old chemistry building (behind the Queens' Building) is now part of a newly landscaped area that looks pleasant and welcoming. The student facilities that were temporarily located in this building have now been moved back to the Hive, so this building is no longer accessible to students.

More about the Students' Union Hub

Works began in February 2012, when £5m was invested to deliver: 

  • A new Students' Union reception area, offices and events space.
  • A well equipped and dedicated space for study and learning with 64 computers, an improved printing area and open discussion spaces with better acoustics provided by attractive looking panels hanging from the ceiling.  
  • Three meeting rooms available for student societies and other bookings.
  • Two multi-faith rooms that include feet washing facilities.
  • Improved toilet facilities.
  • A bigger bookshop.
  • Improved security of the campus.

The building’s main entrance, which is by the bookshop and stairs up to the Hive, will be opened up into a large reception area. A fire exit is being installed between the Hub and Ground, and there will be an entrance big enough for deliveries between ArtsTwo and the Hub. This has been changed – originally the entry point was going to be closed off, but feedback from staff revealed the need for access for deliveries.

The opening hours have been extended by two hours a night, so the Hub will be open 8am to 10pm.

The current offices for the Students’ Union in the Curve will be transferred to the Hub, opening up this space for other use.

The west side of The Hive in the Physics Building has remained open throughout the works.

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