Ground has broken on a new student accommodation building named after a late Oxford University principal.
The Catherine Hughes building will provide 68 bedrooms for Somerville College students, allowing for the accommodation of all its undergraduates on site.
Performed by the husband of Mrs Hughes, the ground-breaking ceremony last week was a proud moment in memory of the former principal, who held the position from 1989 to 1996.
Property consultants Bidwells, the team’s project managers, and Oxford-based construction firm, Beard, joined Dr Trevor Hughes as he officially started the construction phase of work on the new building.
Andrew Parker, treasurer at Somerville College, said: “We know that this [building] will bring our Somerville community even closer together. It will also offer a significant benefit for applicants choosing Somerville, and will be particularly important to those who might otherwise be deterred by the cost of having to live out for a year.
“It is especially fitting that our new building should be named for Catherine Hughes, who had a particular interest in the intellectual development and wellbeing of students, and we are proud to honour her in this way.”
Chris Clover, partner at Bidwells, said: “[We are] honoured to be involved in marking the legacy of such an important figure in Somerville College’s history and we very much look forward to taking this project to the next stage of its development.”
Richie Carter, contracts manager at Beard, said: “We’re delighted to be starting construction and look forward to working with Oxford University’s Somerville College and Bidwells in the delivery of this exciting and challenging project.”
The building on Walton Street is scheduled for completion in October 2019.