The University of Manchester recently announced that Allen Hall will remain closed to students for the third year in a row, putting the long-term future of the hall in serious doubt.
This afternoon an article about the continued closure was published in The Mancunion, the Manchester Students’ Union newspaper, in response to a letter sent by a former JCR President to express concern about the future of Allen Hall. The letter was also sent to a number of senior managers at the University of Manchester, including its President Dame Nancy Rothwell and Tim Westlake, Director for the Student Experience.
Allen Hall was closed to students following the discovery of asbestos in the building.
The restoration work required to remove the asbestos has still not been carried out, and consequently the hall remains closed.
The future of Allen Hall is currently under review and an announcement from the University is expected in the next six months.
We sincerely hope that University management will do the right thing and re-open Allen Hall for the benefit of future generations of students. We will keep you informed as soon as more information is available.
The letter to The Mancunion and University management can be found below:
I would like to draw your urgent attention to the current situation surrounding Allen Hall, the University of Manchester hall of residence based in Fallowfield.
Allen Hall has been closed over the past two years following the discovery of asbestos in the building. Owing to the inertia of Accommodation management, the renovations needed to bring the hall back into student use have not been made. Consequently, for the third year running, it has been announced that Allen Hall will not be open to new students arriving at the University of Manchester in September 2014.
This leaves the long-term future of Allen Hall looking increasingly bleak. The loss of Allen Hall is hugely detrimental to student life at the University of Manchester. Please act now before it’s too late.
Throughout its proud 53-year history, Allen Hall has enjoyed a reputation as a thriving communal residence with a wonderful sense of community and identity. Thanks to the efforts of a dedicated Warden, committed Tutor/pastoral care staff and an active Junior Common Room (JCR) Committee, new students have always found that living at Allen Hall has a hugely positive impact upon their University experience. Here many life-long friendships have been formed and I personally know of tens of couples who met at Allen Hall and have since gone on to marry and have children.
In September 2011, Allen Hall celebrated its 50th anniversary with a hugely successful alumni reunion dinner which was attended by more than 130 people. On the night the dining hall was packed to capacity and a wonderful time was had by all. Later that evening, old friends convened in Allen Hall Bar for the first time in decades to reminisce about their student days at Allen Hall, a time which had clearly left a lasting impression upon the rest of their lives.
Since then, efforts have been made to establish an Alumni Association at Allen Hall, although uncertainty around the Hall’s future has stalled these efforts. A website was established in the aftermath of the reunion event: https://allenhallalumni.wordpress.com.
I strongly believe that the University of Manchester should treasure its more traditional halls of residence such as Allen Hall (and contemporaries such as Ashburne Hall and Woolton Hall) – instead of closing them down. Any decision to close down the hall would be completely short-sighted, and makes a mockery of the University of Manchester’s claims to be committed towards enhancing the lives of its students. Today the empty hall stands as a sad monument to the University’s neglect in this matter.
I would urge you to use your influence to encourage University management to reconsider their current position on Allen Hall, and work towards re-opening the residence for the benefit of future generations of Manchester students.
Please do everything you can to help make this happen.
I look forward to hearing from you in due course.
Allen Hall JCR President 2005-6
University of Manchester alumnus, BA Hons Geography, 2006
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