Plans for Penryn Campus

Nicola Elson reports on the changes to the campus that were discussed at this week’s UGM, including the expansion of Koofi in time for the summer.

FXU’s annual Union General Meeting took place earlier this week, and revealed to us some big changes coming to Penryn Campus.

The first half of the meeting was headed by Tony Sanders, the interim CEO of FXPlus, and Ken Johnson, Falmouth University’s Director of Estates. They delivered a presentation on the proposed changes and the ideas on how to best improve the space on Penryn Campus. Whilst most of the plans were fitting in to the long term scheme of the 2020 expansion – for example the plans for the new student residences in the southern end of campus – there were a couple that will come in to effect this year. The construction has already been completed on the Heart, the new sports centre, and the SERSF II and III research facility, and the next in line for an upgrade is Koofi.

With the recent increase in student numbers, Koofi is no longer big enough to support the extensive demand for coffee and pizza. However, by Easter we are going to see it almost double in size, as a new extension is on the way. The seating area is going to be expanded, and the counter area will be made bigger with more tills installed. It will also be receiving new ovens and a bigger coffee machine, which Tony Sanders promises will speed up catering and waiting time. These new developments should be in use by Easter 2017, and will provide a much bigger social space and faster coffee deliverance in time for the summer deadlines.

There are bigger consultations currently underway alongside this. Both universities have agreed to invest a sum of £11 million for improvements on the Penryn Campus, and the discussion is now pointed in the direction of where best to spend this. The main idea is to focus on the lost middle space of campus, places such as the wind tunnel running through the middle or the courtyard outside of the textile and fashion building. There is also the question of whether to use the space for social or for academic purposes, as both are in high demand. Furthermore, there is the idea of opening up the back wall of the Upper Stannary, by the snooker tables, so that it looks out over Penryn. These discussions are all in their preliminary stages, and some of the buildings might not even be seen until 2025; the universities are asking the questions of what the campus might look like in 8-10 years’ time. FXPlus want to emphasise that the consultation is reliant on student opinions, and want to encourage involvement with the discussion for what would be best suited to their university experience.