Birmingham City University IT member recalls memories of Perry Barr campus

“The people make the place, it’s nice and convenient.”

Matt Peers, who has worked in the IT department for five years, recalls his memories of working at the Perry Barr campus.

He said “They are very fresh, its somewhere I have come to work daily and done so for the past five years.

“We’re (IT) are not planning to move until September, it’s still business as usual.”

For forty years, the ‘City North Campus’ in Perry Barr housed the Students’ Union, IT, Kenrick Library and Student Services Departments. Currently, the campus houses the School of Education Department.

Kenrick-Library

The William Kenrick Library, which opened in 1985 was once the main library for students at Birmingham City University.

I spent two hours in Perry Barr, looking all around the One Stop Shopping Centre, the Hare of the Dog pub and around the City North Campus, frustratingly trying to find someone to interview until I found Matt sitting around on his lunch break at the Baker Building café. He was happy to talk to me about his experiences of City North.

He also added about the environment and his moments at ‘City North’.

“The day that the solar eclipse happened. We were here and a very strange light came across the campus. That was an unusual day, but the moments are more work-related than the actual location of where the moments happened.

As the School of Education is moving to the City South Campus in September 2017, Matt reflected on what he’ll miss about the City North Campus.

He added “I would say the accessibility and car parking, which won’t be available at the City Centre. It’s a bit like an old pair of shoes, you get familiar with the actual building and where you’re going. That familiarity I suppose will be missing when it moves to the City Centre.

“The old building and City Centre are different characters, it’s a bit of an apples and oranges thing. Some people may dislike it, some people may love it. I like it, but it doesn’t mean that the city centre (campus) is worse.

“It’s going to be for a different time and most of the students have gone, so it’s quite quiet. It’d be nice to be around more people again.

Matt also added about how Perry Barr has played a key role in the university’s history.

“I think it’s played an important part as it (BCU) moves onto bigger and better things in the city centre, it gets more high profile. Overall it’s a good move as it has more land and ability for people to develop on and do something new for the future.”

The City North Campus will remain open till September 2017, where part of the campus will be used by the Perry Beeches chain of free schools.

Vice Chancellor Cliff Allan previously said on the Birmingham Post about the Perry Beeches deal “Perry Barr has been an excellent home to our university for the past 40 years and we are determined we will leave the community with the strongest possible legacy.

“It shows again our commitment to ensuring that young people will continue to be educated on the site for generations to come.

“We are well under way with establishing two major campuses – in the Eastside of the city centre and in Edgbaston.”

If you want to hear the full interview with Matt Peers, you can do so here.

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