Image: The Boar / Abbey Parker

Warwick opens extra study space in Rootes and Junction Buildings to deal with overcrowding

The University of Warwick has made further study spaces available in the Rootes and Junction Buildings after students complained of overcrowding. 

Students have reported that the Rootes Learning Grid has consistently been full or nearly full, after it was one of the only study spaces on campus to remain open since the third national lockdown. 

Photos shared with The Boar show students studying at desks set up next to food service counters in the FlexiGrid. The University has also opened a further 70 study spaces in the Junction Building. 

This comes after the Learning Grid was closed on 2 February “in order to improve student safety”. Students were told to make use of “the FlexiGrid, Chancellors and Panorama” rooms. 

Students studying in FlexiGrid in Rootes Building. (Image: Anonymous Warwick student)

Sign showing that the Rootes Learning Grid was full. (Image: Keir Lawson)

However, one student alleged that the area outside the Learning Grid was overcrowded once it reopened. 

A spokesperson for the University said: “Rootes Learning Grid was closed until 11:30 this morning [2 February] simply to  reorganise the furniture to enhance social distancing compliance. Students were told to come back at 10:30am. 

“Unfortunately the work overran until 11:30am and we are fairly sure these pictures actually show people gathering between 10:30 and 11:30 to be let back in, rather than any overall capacity issue.  

Sign showing the Rootes Learning Grid was closed on 2 February. (Image: Keir Lawson)

“Student study space is being monitored on a daily basis and adjustments in availability will be made to match any changes in demand.”

Students have previously expressed their dissatisfaction with the University’s decision to close the Library.

The Library initially stayed open when the third lockdown was announced, but was then closed from 13 January onwards. 

The University’s decision to shut the library was one of the strictest in the Russell Group, with other universities opting to introduce a booking system to control capacity.

The University said the decision was based on whether “the universities think that they can safely provide study spaces”.

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