West Wing Works

The West Wing will undergo a major remedial project throughout 2022 and 2023.

The removal of the Glass Reinforced Concrete (GRC) and the installation of the new aluminium surrounds to the building's windows will cause periodic disruption on site, particularly to users of the building. With that in mind, the College has decided to close the building, with the exception of the Library, for the 2022/23 academic year. This timeframe will allow us to make suitable arrangements for accommodation and events. The College will also be able to address other concerns with how the building operates whilst it is empty. 

Whilst it has taken time to find a permanent solution to the issues with the window surrounds, the College team is confident that the right solution and contractor have been found. We look forward to being able to enjoy the building for many years to come – and to a proper re-opening event in due course.  

Below you will find a video showing the proposal completion, key dates for this project, further context about the West Wing, and how this remediation may affect other aspects of College life and events - and how we're keeping our neighbours up to date.

For any queries or concerns, please contact Estates and Health & Safety Manager, Kenny Cox.


This video highlights the work that will take place during this project.


Key dates
  • 8 August 2022 – Morgan Sindall start on site. Work will begin on the Oriel Bay (currently scaffolded) within the College Quad with their site entrance being through the gate on Pusey Street.
  • 19 September 2022 – Pusey Street scaffolding and hoarding installed
  • 14 November 2022 – Pusey Lane scaffolding and hoarding installed
  • April-May 2023 – Pusey Street scaffolding removal
  • July-Aug 2023 – Pusey Lane scaffolding removal
  • 18 September 2023 – Target completion date

In 2013 St Cross began planning a new West Wing building. The Niall McLaughlin design selected had strong and obvious references to complement the Perpendicular Gothic of Pusey House, with large, slender window surrounds. During the design process, it was decided to construct these window surrounds using Glass Reinforced Concrete (GRC), to meet the constraints of weight, budget and planning.  

The building work began in 2015 and was largely completed in the latter part of 2016. Since then the handsome West Wing building has transformed the way the College functions, with more students living on site. The wider College community has benefitted from having access to a large library, lecture theatre, and meeting rooms.  

However, the final stages of the building work were complicated when the main contractor and subsequently the GRC sub-contractor both went into administration. Shortly after the building was fully completed, it was discovered that the GRC window surrounds had begun to deteriorate. There were no safety issues, but it became clear that replacement was necessary.  

Following thorough studies of a large range of options, the permanent solution selected for this replacement involves the use of anodised aluminium surrounds, which will meet both structural and aesthetic considerations.

College members & guests

- The Library will remain open.

- All other West Wing rooms will be off limits.


St John’s Residents’ Association

After the successful trial of using the WhatsApp messaging service to communicate any disruption and updates on key deliveries, we will set up a WhatsApp channel to communicate with the SJRAC on a weekly basis. Email correspondence will be used to communicate any disruption and updates with the residents who have asked to receive these instead of Whatsapp communications.



Weekly Updates

16 November 2022

The design works are progressing and the material for the new windows is in procurement. Progress has now resumed on the Pusey Lane scaffold now that the Pusey Street scaffold is largely complete.  

Our scaffold vehicle will be located on Pusey Lane while offloading only. This is necessary to avoid the need to manually carry the scaffold components down the street and reduce the risk of any collision with other road users.  

Click here for the 16 November PDF newsletter.

8 November 2022

A model of the completed façade is due to be delivered on Thursday, November 10. This will provide a sample of the completed window details and will be available for those who would like a preview of the completed works.

The Pusey St scaffold will be completed next week, and we are due to move onto Pusey Lane on Wednesday. We continue to make good progress on the deconstruction of the internal elevations, and we shall be targeting starting deconstruction on Pusey Street early in the week. 

Click here for the 8 November PDF newsletter.

24 October 2022

Progress has resumed on the Pusey St scaffold now that the internal scaffold is largely complete. We continue to make good progress on the deconstruction of the internal elevations. In addition, we have a team of contractors attending to carry out some internal paint finishes and a team carrying out maintenance to our temporary power and lighting. 

Click here for the 24 October PDF newsletter.

17 October 2022

The design works are progressing and the material for the new windows is in procurement. On site we are targeting to complete the access scaffolding on the internal elevations. We shall then progress the scaffold on Pusey Street. We are making good progress on the deconstruction of the internal elevations. We have disconnected the bedroom furniture following the disconnection of the power and data.

Click here for the 17 October PDF newsletter.

10 October 2022

We are now ensuring that the suspended parking is available for use by residents after 5pm Monday to Friday and Weekends. We have signage in place to make this clear and it appears to be in use by residents and disabled badge holders. We have invited Oxford Highways to review our traffic management following resident concern and suggestions.

Click here for the 10 October PDF newsletter.

3 October 2022

The design works are progressing and the material for the new windows is in procurement. On site we are progressing with the access scaffolding on the internal elevations and Pusey Street. In addition to unloading scaffold, we now have a skip which is being filled with the demolition arisings. Internally we are disconnecting the bedroom furniture, power and data cabling.

Click here for the 3 October PDF newsletter.

26 September 2022

Internally we are disconnecting the bedroom power and data to allow removal of the student desks away from the old window. A team of joiners will commence on Tuesday 27.9.22 removing the desks. Our contractor will commence the deconstruction phase of the works on Monday 26.09.22

The stone masons are continuing removing the stone window reveals within phase 2. Please be advised that in addition to the unloading of scaffold vehicles a Skip will be positioned in the parking bays adjacent to the site gate to allow removal of the windows and concrete window surrounds. This has been booked for Tuesday. Our Electrician will be working on site all week providing temporary power and lighting  necessary to carry out the works. This will include lighting on the hoarding on Pusey St

Click here for the 26 September PDF newsletter.

16 September 2022

The design works are progressing following the approval of the new window frame system. The material for the new window frames is currently in procurement. On site we are progressing with the access scaffolding, and we are now progressing the 3rd and 4th bays. We are also progressing the scaffold along Pusey Street following the completion of the site hoarding on Tuesday. As we are working on 2 elevations, we have had 2 scaffold vehicles parked in the suspended bays.

Click here for the 16 September PDF newsletter.

9 September 2022

The design works for the new glazing and window surrounds which will be the feature of the new façade are now in procurement and will be sent to our façade contractor for offsite fabrication. On site we are progressing with the access scaffolding within the internal courtyard and are full height on the first bay. The delivery vehicle located daily outside the new gate will continue allowing us to load materials.

Click here for the 9 September PDF newsletter.

26 August 2022

We are currently progressing well with the design works for the new glazing and window surrounds which will be the feature of the new façade.

On site we have established phase 1 of our site compound within the courtyard. Access scaffolding will be commencing within the courtyard on Tuesday 30/08/22. To do this we shall require a delivery vehicle located outside the new gate in order for us to load materials.

Works upcoming for September 2022

The dismantling of the façade will commence at the end of September when the scaffolding is sufficiently progressed.

Phase 2 will commence on 12/09/22 following the St Giles Fair when we shall erect a temporary fence down Pusey Street on the line of the suspended  parking bays. Our gateman Jon Scott has now been with us for 1 month. Jon will be coordinating traffic movements, reversing our vehicles down from St Giles Gate and assisting with pedestrian traffic movements.

We will continue to update you on a weekly basis but if you have any pressing 
concerns please see our contact numbers. 

Click here for the 26 August PDF newsletter.