Posted on 27 February 2012
Following a localised fire in part of one of our Chemistry Blocks on 2 February, Chemistry staff, working alongside university staff from Health, Safety and Welfare, and Estates Services, have worked around the clock to ensure that the undergraduate practical courses can be resumed in double-quick time.
We are delighted to reveal that, as of February 27, Chemistry undergraduates are back in the teaching labs doing practical work (see photos below). Although some repairs are still underway, we expect the practical courses in the remainder of this academic year to proceed uninterrupted - and all of the remodelling will be completed this coming summer so that practical courses next academic year will proceed exactly as planned.
At the same time, excellent progress is being made on construction of the £6.5 million final phase of the Dorothy Hodgkin Research Building, which will be completed in May. This will be followed by construction of a new £10 million two-storey building, due for completion in Autumn 2013. On the ground floor, extensive state-of-the-art Chemistry teaching laboratories will provide outstanding professional-standard training facilities to rank amongst the very best in the UK.
“At around 12.45 on 2nd February the fire alarm system in Chemistry B block activated. Staff and students evacuated the building immediately and North York Fire and Rescue attended the scene. Trevor Lund, North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue investigations officer, later praised University staff for their actions during and immediately following the fire. These actions contributed to the rapid containment of the fire.
“The combined efforts of the Chemistry, Health & Safety and Estates departments helped to ensure rapid stabilisation of the situation and the implementation of the business continuity actions.
“The investigation was able to confirm that the fire did not originate from the activities of Chemistry staff or students or from University equipment inside the building. Roofing repair work was being carried out immediately prior to the detection of the fire. University insurers are working to ensure restitution of the building and contents.
“Despite the fire affecting part of the teaching laboratories, the hard work by the Chemistry team ensured that students were back doing practical work from 27th February, and all facilities will be back in full operation by the start of the autumn term.”