University to move teaching to offices over crumbling concrete fears

A university will turn a huge empty office block into classrooms after crumbling concrete was found in a building. Plans by the University of Warwick got the go-ahead from the city council yesterday (29 April.)

Staff and students will move to Riley Court, a 40,000 square foot office space in the university's Science Park. It will replace lost teaching space in the humanities building which shut last year due to RAAC being found, plans said.

The university closed the single-storey humanities block last September as a "precaution" after surveys showed it contained the reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC.), last September. Concerns over the safety of this material had led to schools across the country closing their doors that month.


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At the time the university said more tests would be carried out on the building which has two lecture halls. RAAC was also found in two other university buildings but these were not seen to pose any "immediate risk" and roofs were in good condition, it added.

A bid to change the use of Riley Court from offices to providing education were sent to the council in December last year. All of the 3-storey building's floorspace will now be used for education, the document showed.

The move will involve renovations inside the building. A council officer report said there is a "clear need for usable floor space to be made available," so teaching could take place near the main campus.

This is because of an "unexpected shortfall" of teaching space on campus due to the RAAC being found in buildings, the "most pertinent" being the humanities block, it added.

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