Graduate Housing Strategy

Churchill College has always prided itself on housing as many graduate students on its main site alongside the undergraduates and fellows, to reinforce the college community. It differs from most other colleges in Cambridge in the proximity of its accommodation to the college. As the University of Cambridge increases graduate admissions, Churchill College is taking a number of actions to create additional graduate accommodation.

Future plans include:

  1. The reallocation of a large staircase (up to 20 rooms) in one of the main courts to graduate use when the New Court is completed, hopefully by 2016.
  2. Another 15-20 room purpose-built graduate building within the next six years, adjacent to the main site.
  3. An additional 5 purpose-built rooms for graduate couples within the next ten years, also adjacent to the main site.

Projects to expand and improve graduate housing are currently taking place and include:

  1. A project to rebuild 64 Storey’s Way, doubling the number of student rooms and creating a large kitchen and communal room at a cost of £930K in total.
  2. Replacing furniture in the hostels (taking place since 2007) at a cost of about £140K, to be completed by 2015.

In addition to the current and future plans for graduate accommodation, Churchill College has undertaken a number of projects in recent years to increase graduate housing. In the 1990s, as graduate numbers began to rise and as many undergraduate science courses lengthened to four years, houses were purchased along Storey’s Way, one of the most prestigious addresses in Cambridge, to house more graduate students. The College also purchased some small domestic properties off the Huntingdon Road and a larger house in Rock Road to house graduate medical students closer to the Addenbrookes Hospital site – now the biomedical campus.

Since 2000, the following major changes to the graduate housing have taken place:

  1. 30 new graduate rooms, all ensuite, in Bondi, Broers and Hawthorne Houses were built in 2001 at a cost of £1.85 million, funded in part by the sale of a listed house in Storey’s Way.
  2. The College handed over Whittinghame Cottage to provide three additional rooms in 2003 and two rooms and a kitchen on the ground floor of 76 Storey’s Way in 2007.
  3. The remaining staircase rooms allocated to graduate students are in the programme for refurbishment and staircase 3 was completed at a cost of about £150K in 2008.
  4. In 2007 the College undertook a feasibility study on how to deal with the Wolfson Flats which were in urgent need of major refurbishment.   The decision to strip them down to bare brickwork and rebuild them at a cost of £4.6 million had to be taken in the context that the project raised only £200K in donations and the rents would never repay the capital cost, in the lifetime of the refurbished and refurnished flats.  The project enabled us to address many faults in the original design and to create light, warm, modern space in which to live and work.  The family flats, in particular, gained about 25% additional floor area.  The 40 Wolfson Flats provide the largest number of units in Cambridge and on a college main site, to accommodate partners and families.
  5. It was agreed with the MCR in 2007 that we should aim to have a communal room or alternatively a large enough kitchen to house a table and chairs, in each of the hostels, so that residents could gather together if they wished.    Since then three rooms in the outer hostels and one at 36 Storey’s Way have been turned into communal rooms and one other hostel at Priory Street has been extended to provide a living room.
  6. Kitchens have been replaced or upgraded in all the hostels, except Rock Road in the last seven years.

Jennifer Brook
Churchill College Bursar
October 2013