Progress update Friday 25 November 2005

Four weeks on, having successfully dealt with managing the immediate crisis and initial recovery, we are now moving towards the reconstruction phase.

The Mountbatten Complex has been cordoned off and specialist contractors are currently undertaking demolition of the clean rooms. This is expected to continue for another few weeks. As part of this process, it may still be necessary on occasion for staff to leave neighbouring buildings at short notice.

I’d like to add my thanks to colleagues in ORC, ECS and Social Sciences for their forbearance over the past few weeks as we have strived to manage the disruption caused by the fire and the need to relocate so many staff and research students. During this whole process, our first priority has been, and remains, the safety of all staff and students who work close to what is now a demolition site. I apologise if, at times, we have had to issue information at short notice and ask for your continued patience and understanding.

Our top priority now is to ensure that members of staff and research students affected by the fire are provided with appropriate medium-term accommodation. A project team is looking at the available alternatives and we hope to have plans in place very shortly. Please continue to liaise with your supervisors/line managers about progress on this.

Work is also taking place in parallel on plans to rebuild the facility to ensure that it meets our research needs in the years to come and will maintain its position as a world-leader. A project team has been set up under DVC Professor Adam Wheeler to take forward the planning of the new facilities. Meanwhile there is much to be done dealing with the insurance claim and acquiring equipment to replace that lost in the fire, which will continue to be coordinated by the Crisis Management Team.

John Lauwerys, Secretary and Registrar

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