East Range Project
In a normal year, members of the Oriel community adhere rigorously to the “no food or drink” rule in the grade 1 listed Senior Library.
This year is no normal year: the rule is being lifted during Michaelmas 2023 as the space turns into a servery and dining hall for the duration of a refurbishment project at the area of College known as the “East Range.”
Diners are to enter through the double-doors on the left-hand side of the Senior Library and SCR building in Second Quad, then ascend the staircase and turn left.
But they will no longer be faced by book-lined shelves. The dining area is to retain the look and feel of the Senior Library but the space will be lined with tables and chairs, the air enlivened by conversation and laughter.
Expected to continue for at least a year, the East Range Project will involve extensive renovation to the buildings on the east side of First Quad. That includes the bar, dining hall and kitchen, and also the ‘Box’ and Champneys Room.
There is to be a special focus on revamping College’s social spaces and ensuring that all students, staff and visitors can access all the areas safely and with ease.
As the fifth oldest college at the University of Oxford, Oriel’s buildings are intrinsic not only to its ceremonial and convivial tradition but also to the everyday life of its staff and students. It is therefore important that they adapt to College’s growing modern community.
Established in the eighteenth Century, the Senior Library building is one of the most magnificent on the Oriel site. Students and staff have the opportunity to experience it like never before.
Alternative dining arrangements
Dining will remain in the Hall building in First Quad from the start of term until Sunday of 3rd Week (22 October) to allow incoming freshers to experience the existing normal.
On Monday of 3rd Week (23 October) dining arrangements will then enter a transition period. College is working to find the best ways to offer food provision during this time and diners will be notified of the nature of this provision in due course.
From Friday of 3rd Week (27 October) hot meals will begin to be served in the Senior Library as College enters a new normal.
Once open, the temporary dining hall will run at a reduced capacity for a duration of around a week while the kitchen and dining hall staff adjust to the new facilities.
Students and staff will be notified of dining arrangements for the following week on each Friday via email (see below).
Last updated: 12th September 2023
All members of the Oriel community will receive a weekly bulletin with information about alternative dining arrangements, closures around College and any other changes on the Friday of each week. Occasionally notices will also be sent out on an ad hoc basis.