Allen Hall is to remain closed for a third year running due to asbestos.
Allen Hall has been closed for the past two years following boiler failure and the discovery of asbestos in the building. For a third year, it has been decided that Allen Hall will again not be occupied by new students from the University of Manchester.
The 53 year old hall of residence is a traditional catered hall based on the Fallowfield campus. The University has said “traditional catered halls make a valuable contribution to the University in providing smaller communities with their own distinct character which continues to appeal to a number of students”
Daniel Mills, who lived at the halls between 2003-6 and is now a member of the Hall committee, has said that “Allen Hall has enjoyed a reputation as a thriving communal residence with a wonderful sense of community and identity.”
However Daniel Mills has also said, “owing to the apparent inertia of Accommodation management, the renovations needed to bring the hall back into student use have not been made”. Mills added that “The University of Manchester should treasure its more traditional halls of residence—instead of closing them down”.
A University spokesman has said, in response to these claims, that “the decision not to occupy Allen Hall was not a reflection on the rewarding community and social environment that students who stayed at Allen Hall experienced”.
Mills explained that he “understands removing asbestos from the hall will be an expensive and time-consuming undertaking.” However, “closing down the hall would be completely short-sighted, and makes a mockery of the University of Manchester’s claims to be committed to enhancing the lives of its students”.
The future use of Allen Hall is currently under review and it is anticipated by the University that this work will be completed in the next six months.