Residents voice scorn as gales rip ‘flimsy’ roofing off Newport's university
DAMAGED: Debris is scattered across the road from the roof of the university’s Newport City Campus building
METAL sheeting and insulation was torn off Newport’s £35 million university campus as winds as high as 60mph battered Gwent yesterday.
Residents and students worried that someone could be hurt by sheet metal that fell from the Newport City campus, which was closed yesterday as a result.
It is the second time the roof has been damaged by the weather in just over a year.
Mounds of beige insulation material could be seen strewn on the pavement, the road and hedges along Usk Way.
The Argus counted at least seven pieces of metal sheeting – some as long as ten metres – lying loose in the grounds and on the road around the campus.
Delivery driver Christopher Thomas, whose home in Caroline Street faces the campus on one side, called the police at around 8.30am when he heard clanking out in the street.
He said: “It’s a multi-million- pound centre; it’s a £2.50 roof! They should have learned this lesson last year.”
The university campus was opened in January 2011 and has won a Royal Institute of British Architects award for the striking and innovative nature of its design.
But only a month after it opened, parts of the roof came loose in strong winds.
Police said Usk Way was closed yesterday morning from around 9.30am but pedestrians were able to walk past, and it wasn’t until around 3.15pm that workers were seen clearing away debris and a cordon was put in place.
Local resident Elizabeth Anstee, 51, said: “Twice in two years, it’s a bit ridiculous.”
A spokesman for the University of Wales, Newport, said there was no internal damage and contractors did not remove debris until the afternoon because they wanted to ensure the wind had dropped and it was safe.
The campus is expected to re-open today.
Any more details will be published on the university’s website.