Coventry University Going Underground.

Anyone coming to Coventry on the train will see that there is a lot of construction work going on opposite the station. The work being carried out is the Friargate regeneration project which is a new gateway to Coventry city centre. When complete, it will contain office buildings, two hotels, new residential dwellings, shops, restaurants and bar units as well as providing new pedestrian routes across the city.

As one of the major employers in the city, we were asked if we would like to put something into a time capsule that the developers were burying on site. It is not going to be opened again until 2066.

Coventry University’s symbol is the Phoenix and so it seemed apt to provide a book called ‘The Phoenix Rises’ which looks at the history of Coventry University from its early beginnings as the Coventry College of Design in 1843 right through to present day.

The citizens of Coventry also suggested items to be included in the time capsule and they had to be things that represented Coventry’s past, present and future.

With a little bit of help from ‘Sting’ the wasp from The Wasps Rugby club, a representative from the developers, the local church and Jaguar Landrover, pupils from two local schools planted the time capsule. It is a scary thought that they will be in their late 50s when it is next opened.

Stephen Reynolds, of Friargate Coventry LLP, the partnership delivering the new district, said:

“Friargate will change the face of Coventry, so a time capsule is a great way to safeguard our memories of the city in 2016 as well as capturing our ideas of Coventry in the future. When it is opened in 2066 the contents will offer a fascinating insight into our city and how much it had changed.”

With most major redevelopment sites, the normal way of securing the area is to surround it with hoardings so that it shields passers-by from the work going on. The developers for Friargate have enlisted the help of Coventry University students to make the hoardings interesting to read.

They have asked for some of our students to be part of the scheme by having their photographs taken and put on the hoardings with a few words about Coventry and what it means to them.

The hoardings surrounding the site will also feature Coventry residents from all walks of life.

It is no secret, that the Office of Teaching and Learning would like our students get as many and varied opportunities as they can while they are studying with us, but being part of a PR campaign for a city centre redevelopment, has to be one of the more unusual ways to enhance the student experience!

Watch this space for an update when the hoardings are in place

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Photographs and Written by Ali Bushnell 

Edited by Esmé Spurling

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