For over 30 years, Warwick students and staff have enjoyed the benefits of the Students' Union. But, originally built in 1975 for around 2,000 students, it no longer caters for a population of almost 20,000 students!
Now, an £11 million redevelopment means that the Students' Union will provide a first-class entertainment and social space which will serve the University community for at least the next 30 years.
As Warwick continues to grow and move forward with it's Vision 2015 strategy, so the Union must develop to accommodate and address the needs of our ever expanding student population. With this in mind, summer 2008 will see the commencement of a rebuild project to modernise the Union and make it a vibrant, cosmopolitan and contemporary hub of activity in keeping with the University's proud vision of the future.
In order to keep as many services running as possible during the build, the works will be split into two phases.
In June 2008, work will start on a new four roomed multi-purpose venue at the rear of the Union. The new venue will provide a performance area that will attract the bigger and better live bands to Warwick; a nightclub venue for DJs and club nights; a chill-out area alongside the new club; and a ‘feature bar’ with a high glass roof and everyone’s favourite beverages.
Recent bands who have performed at the Union include The Twang, We Are Scientists, Biffy Clyro, Ash, Scouting for Girls, Amerie Lee Scratch-Perry, Pendulum & Grandmaster Flash and we aim to continue and improve upon these acts to bring students the best live entertainment as well as providing a quality night out in safe surroundings.
The new venue will be open in Spring 2009, so in the short-term, some bars will need to be closed to allow the works to take place. A temporary club space will be provided for the continuation of our popular student entertainment and the phased development means that some bars will remain open including Cholo and Rococco.
During this first phase of development, one of the most popular bars on campus - The Graduate - will also be refurbished. The Graduate is a traditional-style pub which serves a full range of ales but with the refurbishment, the Graduate will also be able to serve hearty traditional pub food. The Graduate Terrace will be extended to provide a larger outdoor space with panoramic views of the campus where you can watch the sun go down after a busy days studying.
Phase two of the development will start in Spring 2009 and will see a new Piazza Terrace Bar (pictured left), the Piazza Café, new facilities for societies and a new atrium in the centre of the building. The bars that remained open during the first phase will now be required to close but the new entertainment venue will open for students providing a new programme of events as well as the much-loved popular nights that are currently provided.
The Piazza is the central hub for students, surrounded by the Union and Warwick Arts Centre and is particularly popular during the summer months when students gather to enjoy the sunshine. The new terrace bar will look out over the piazza and allow students to eat and drink in pleasant surroundings whilst still enjoying the atmosphere and buzz of the piazza.
- See the live piazza webcam (the new terrace will be on the right hand side of this view)
The Entertainments department have been working hard to make other arrangements for students during both phases of the development so students can still make the most of their Warwick experience including providing transport to clubs and bars in the local area and using other venues off-campus.