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Oxford University Gazette, 1 June 2006: University Agenda

CONGREGATION 27 June 2 p.m.

Members of Congregation are reminded that written notice of any intention to vote against, or any proposed amendment to, the resolution below, signed in each case by at least two members of Congregation, must be given to the Registrar by noon on Monday, 19 June (see the note on the conduct of business in Congregation at the end of 'University Agenda').

Voting on Resolution concerning Alden Press site: allocation of space to OULS and to the Ruskin School

Explanatory note

The University purchased the Alden Press building in 2005. The building is adjacent to the office and warehouse building that currently houses the OULS Systems and Electronic Services section (the SERS building) on Osney Mead. The Alden Press site is currently leased back to Alden Press, but it is expected to be vacated in the summer of 2006. The site is currently occupied by three distinct buildings, an office building, the main print shop and a linked but separate paper store.

A report by the Curators of the University Libraries was published in the University Gazette of 22 September in which they made the case for a new book depository at Osney Mead, in the context of a broader estate strategy for libraries (Supplement (1) to No. 4743). This proposed the building of a new depository on the site of the SERS building. It was noted in the report that if required, there was room also for future expansion of the depository on an adjacent site also owned by the University ' viz. the Alden Press site.

At the Council meeting of 7 November 2005 a discussion was held on the possibility of reserving the Alden site for future expansion of the book depository. It was intended that the area of the site immediately adjacent to the proposed depository (that containing the print shop and building and equivalent to the site to be occupied by the new depository) be reserved, but the remainder, including the paper store, be used for other University purposes.

A resolution about allocation of the SERS site was put to Congregation on 15 November. An amendment to this resolution was submitted and approved: below is the approved version, with the amendment shown in italics:

'Recognising the importance of the proposed book depository for the future delivery of library services in the University, and noting that there will be further reports to Congregation as later stages of the libraries' estates strategy are planned in detail, Congregation approves the allocation of the site at Osney Mead for the purpose of developing an automated depository for Oxford University Library Services, provided that the University undertakes to make available to the Library Services should need arise the adjacent land presently owned by the University, and not to alienate or otherwise dispose of that land.'

BESC and PRAC have now considered further how much adjacent land might be needed for future expansion of the book depository and, on their recommendation, Council now proposes that part of the site only be reserved for future expansion of the book repository, and that the paper store, covering 906 sq. m., and the surrounding area (0.46 ha), be assigned to the Ruskin School, enabling the department to be housed together on a single site. (The total area of all the Alden Press buildings is 3,014 sq.m.) The exact arrangements for the Ruskin School's relocation are subject to a detailed feasibility study.

The following Resolution submitted by Council seeks Congregation's approval for the allocation of the paper store on the Alden site at Osney Mead for the purposes of the Ruskin School, with the remainder of the site being reserved for the depository.

Text of Resolution

Recognising the importance of relocating the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art, Congregation approves the allocation of the paper store and surrounding area on the Alden Press site at Osney Mead for the purposes of the Ruskin School, and the reservation of the remainder of the Alden Press site for future expansion of the book depository.

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