Renovations in the L building - what can we expect?
Students were greeted by a sign in late January that the majority of the L building will be closed for renovations during the whole year. So far, no work has started but Esset has investigated what will happen to the building, and more importantly, to oaSen.
Many students were surprised to find that the majority of the L building was cordoned off at the beginning of the term, leaving only the second floor and oaSen open for students. Chapter president Naima Ozims wrote in an e-mail in January to all trustees that it is unclear for how long the work will be performed or how it will affect oaSen.
In the beginning of last year, plans for the Swedish National Defense College to move into the whole building were announced. The college currently rents the north-eastern wing of the building. Chapter representatives started dialogues with KTH concerning a new placement for the S chapter common room but it was eventually decided that relocation was no longer necessary. According to sources, there was no interest from the defense college to take over the whole building.
Esset spoke to Leif Kahlbom, the KTH Property Department project manager who is responsible for the renovations. The office spaces of the building, which have stood empty since 2018, will be handed over to the defense college while the classrooms will be renovated and continue to be used by KTH.
Floor two, where oaSen is situated, will also be changed with a wheelchair-accessible bathroom being installed in part of the red room. Because of this and the renovation of the classrooms, the corridor has to be partially closed but Leif Kahlbom assures that there will still be access to the bathrooms during the whole renovation period.
OaSen, the S-chapter common room will also undergo some improvements. The windows will be changed for new ones with two becoming openable, according to Kahlbom. OaSen’s windows have been on the agenda since 2019 when the chapter hall was broken into through the windows. An evacuation alarm will also be installed in oaSen to aid wheelchair-bound students to exit the building in the case of an emergency. The S chapter has also started talks about replacing the glass partition wall with a modular type to allow for more flexibility during events but this has not been incorporated in the project. The S chapter facility manager Simon Jändel has stated to Esset that he is still waiting for permission from KTH to remove the wall.
So far, no starting date has been decided for the renovations.