University House FAQs

23 January 2020

INFORMATION ABOUT UNIVERSITY HOUSE TEMPORARY CLOSURE

On Monday 20 January 2020, Canberra experienced a destructive hailstorm which resulted in extensive building damage at the ANU Acton campus, with over 80 buildings impacted including extensive damage to University House. 

University House has suffered significant damage across the entire property and will be closed until the end of February 2020.  Boffins Restaurant, Fellows Café, Fellows Garden and the Molly Huxley carpark have also been closed.  An update on their reopening will be provided in the coming weeks. 

Our accommodation team are currently contacting every guest with a booking during the period 21 January to end February inclusive that was made directly with the House.  We will provide assistance with finding alternate accommodation, however we do recommend that you look for other accommodation in the interim as availability can be challenging during Parliamentary sitting periods.  If you have a current booking, please contact our reservations team with your booking details via 02 6125 5211 or accommodation.UniHouse@anu.edu.au.  All cancellations will be honored without a charge and all refunds for prepaid bookings will be made in full for this period.  For bookings made via OTA'S (Online Travel Agents including Wotif, Expedia, Agoda, Booking.com etc.) the bookings sites will contact all future guest bookings directly and assist with making alternate arrangements.

Our events team are also currently contacting clients with bookings within the period 21 January to end February inclusive to assist with relocations.  If you have a current booking, please contact our Events team with your booking details via 02 6125 5271 or events.unihouse@anu.edu.au.  All cancellations will be honored without a charge and all refunds for prepaid bookings will be made in full for this period. 

Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience caused and We thank you in advance for your patience and understanding

We look forward welcoming all our guests back to the property and assisting once the damages have been resolved.
 

How long will it be closed for?

The University House, contractors and Facilities and Services are working around the clock to reopen some areas of University House as soon as possible. We expect to be able to advise a re-opening schedule on Wednesday 19 February, and will provide updates on this page and the University House webpage.
 

What is the extent of the damage at University House?

There is water ingress in to all upper levels of the House and key heritage areas such as the Great Hall, Lobby and Scarth Rooms have been impacted. The major area of concern is the 66-year old original tile roof and falling debris due to broken tiles and lose render. To ensure the safety of our community, a wide exclusion zone has been placed around the building. We are awaiting a full condition assessment form the contractors working to make the House safe and water tight.
 

How many students are impacted by the University House closure?

University House is home to a community of 66 PhD students living in the Garden and South Wing. Student residents are being temporarily relocated to Wamburun Lodge. The University House team are doing a lot of work to make the temporary transition to Wamburun Lodge as smooth as possible.

 

What do I do if I am a paying guest?

University House is working with paying guests to find other accommodation in Canberra. If you have a current booking, please speak with the University House staff at reception. 

 

I've already booked and paid for accommodation during the closure period. Will I get refunded in full?

Yes, full refunds will be provided. Our team can also assist with finding alternate accommodation. Please contact the reservations team with your booking details via email: accommodation.unihouse@anu.edu.au.

 

We have booked guests into University House during the closure. What do I do? Will other accommodation be organised by University House?

Our accommodation team are currently contacting every guest with a booking during the month of February that was made directly with the House. We will provide assistance with finding alternate accommodation, however we do recommend that you look for other accommodation in the interim as availability can be challenging during Parliamentary sitting periods.

For bookings made via OTA'S (Online Travel Agents including Wotif, Booking.com etc.) The bookings site will contact all future bookings directly and assist with making alternate arrangements.

 

Is there any damage to the artwork collection at University House?

No. As a precautionary measure, the artwork collection is being relocated while repairs take place.
 

I have a function booked in during the time that University House will be closed. What will happen to my booking? Does our deposit get refunded?

Our events team are currently making contact with all future event bookings and are assisting where possible to find alternate arrangements on or off campus. Please contact 02 6125 5270 for our events team or email events.unihouse@anu.edu.au

There will be no cancellation fees during this challenging time for future accommodation or event bookings.
 

University House is catering for an event off site. Will University House still cater for this event while they are closed?

We are currently reviewing these event bookings however the University House's fleet of vehicles have been impacted and are waiting to be assessed. We are strongly encouraging clients to make alternate arrangements as a precaution.
 

I have made reservations at Boffins. Who do I need to contact?

Please email boffins.unihouse@anu.edu.au and the team will work to assist with any future bookings.
 

My event is later in the year after University House is meant to reopen. Will my booking still proceed?

At this stage the University House team will be reviewing future bookings in blocks of 3 months at a time to provide plenty of lead time should relocation be necessary.

 

Are the grounds of University House still accessible? Is Fellows Bar or Boffins still open for trade?

Unfortunately all areas of University House were impacted and will be closed until further notice including Fellows, Fellows Bar & Garden and Boffins.

 

Is Molley Huxley carpark accessible?

No. The Molly Huxley carpark has been closed. 

 

Is there any damage to the interior of the Scarth Room, Library or Great Hall?

The Great Hall and Scarth Room have both been impacted and we are working closely with Facilities and Services and the Drill Hall Gallery to preserve and store our artwork while we undertake repairs. We are also in consultation with ANU Heritage and our advisors.

 

Will this closure disrupt the planned renovations scheduled for University House this year?

We are meeting next week with Facilities & Services and our project team to assess the implications to our planned 2020 heritage restoration.