Update on gym membership

You said – we did! So here’s a quick update for you on some plans we’ve made for the gym membership.

As you know, the gym at Walter Bower House (WBH) will be a well-provided but obviously much more compact facility than the main Sports Centre, with 12 pieces of equipment and various accessories available for use. I heard from a few of you that you had some concerns about the membership costs. You felt that the full membership price would be too much to pay for a smaller gym facility. Because we want to make sure this facility meets your needs, Saints Sport and I had a look at various options.

The main priorities were:

  • the avoidance of any undue administrative burden for Saints Sport
  • creating a fair pricing structure for the gym which would help to encourage staff to use the facility.

So, we propose the following membership structure. The information in black is the current price for full Fitness+ membership. The information in red is the proposed Eden Campus only membership.


Staff Membership Prices 19/20 Full Fitness+
(Main Sport Centre)
Eden Campus
Gym Only
One year £270


6 months £140


Salary deduct (monthly) £24


The idea is that staff members who are part of units that are fully or partially relocating to WBH can buy the Eden Campus only membership.

Reception staff at the main Sports Centre would ask a prospective member to confirm their unit name and check that the staff member is eligible for the discounted rate.

Simulation drawing of what a gym would look like

For the moment access to the WBH gym will be limited to those with the Eden Campus membership at the outset. Obviously we can keep a close eye on how often the gym is used by reviewing the card data and change this as necessary.

Those with full membership already (and who want to keep full membership) can have the Eden Campus membership added to their account if they are part of a unit that is fully or partially relocating. Current Sports Centre members can adjust their membership type, from ‘Full Fitness+’ to ‘Eden Campus Membership’ on their membership renewal date.

Eden Campus membership will be available to buy soon – I’ll let the reps know as soon as it’s available.

Happy exercising!

Louise Soutar
PSR Project Officer

Making your voice heard

Last week saw 2020’s first session of the PSR Forum, and we kicked off this important year with a discussion about Walter Bower House user groups.

First of all, the reps heard a quick update covering various parts of the project, including the important news that we now have permission to hire a member of staff for WBH. The new WBH Services Coordinator post will be advertised very soon so please do watch this space.

We then turned to the subject of user groups. Thinking ahead to life post-relocation, there is a need to create groups to develop and continue our work within the PSR Forum. There are, however, various types of group we could pursue and I wanted to make sure the staff have a say in what these are and the remits they will cover. Thinking about this now will ensure that we can continue to represent the needs and interests of the staff while transitioning to the new building. 

I shared some ideas for possible groups in advance of the meeting and asked the reps to think about them. Here are those ideas.

1. A temporary group to look at short-lived issues

This will be particularly important in the first few months after the building opens when small issues may naturally arise. This could sit for six or so months after opening, shorter or longer as needed.

2. A channel for building users to provide ongoing feedback and suggestions

Designed as a way for the building users to communicate with the Services Team in an efficient manner.

3. A group to discuss and encourage social activities

At the end of 2018 we discussed health, safety and wellbeing. One of the themes that came through from that discussion was the interest in setting up a social committee. After some discussion, we decided together that group number 1 could naturally become group number 2 after a certain amount of time. We would have a separate group for number 3 – a social committee.

We then went through and discussed some points around how these groups would operate:

How will group members be picked?

The reps felt that the feedback group should have one member from each unit. The social committee could have anyone as a member, but we should try to reflect a wide variety of interests. The reps thought that attending on a voluntary basis was the best way forward.

How long should members serve on these groups?

The reps thought members should serve for a minimum of 12 months on the user groups.

How often do the groups need to meet?

The reps would like to see the feedback group stay as a monthly meeting. This could be backed up by the use of Microsoft Teams (as we do at the moment). The feeling was that the social committee could meet less often, perhaps quarterly. Teams could also be a powerful way to collate ideas for the social committee and allow even more participation.

What format should the groups take?

Having food at the meetings was felt to be very useful… so continuing over lunchtime seems to be the way forward. The new WBH Services Coordinator could chair both of these groups and, in terms of agendas, we could have a few standing items (perhaps café, gym etc) and also ask for agenda items. The reps thought it was a good idea for the social committee to meet in the café.

Should the social committee have a budget?

The reps thought that, ideally, the social committee would have a budget but it can’t be expected. It could look at self-funded activities, asking for small entrance fees for talks etc, or it may have to stick to free activities.

So that’s where we are – we’ll have a WBH user group that acts as a channel of communication for building issues, both immediately after we relocate and continuing after we’ve all settled in, plus we’ll also have a social committee. I’ll now write up some terms of reference for each of the groups and we can start to look forward to setting these up.  

See you next month!

Louise Soutar
PSR Project Officer

Visual update for 2020

New year, new pics of Walter Bower House.

There’s lots of activity going on within the building, including the installation of glass partitions and the first look at our freshly-painted red columns…

Skylights have been installed on the ground floor

A bright and airy room on the ground floor

Glass being installed in the meeting rooms

Close up of a quiet room

View of the rafters and skylights within the first floor office area

More glass being installed within the first floor office area

Long view of the first floor office area

The toilets are being installed and waiting for doors to be hung

A tea prep area ready for kitchen installation

Columns are painted a vibrant red colour

Long view of the first floor office area with freshly painted red columns and meeting rooms to the left

Creating a culture for WBH

This month, the PSR Forum invited one of our excellent training partners Dr Simon Haslam to help us explore ideas around the culture and shared ways of working at Walter Bower House (WBH).

Culture has been defined as ‘the way we do things around here’. A workplace culture is the shared protocols, belief systems, attitudes, assumptions and behaviours that people in a workplace share. A positive workplace culture improves teamwork, enhances job satisfaction, increases productivity, and generally makes us healthier and happier in our workplaces.

Relocating to a new building such as WBH gives us a golden opportunity to consciously consider what a positive workplace culture will look like, and who better to do that than the future occupants of WBH themselves?

Before the session, the reps asked their teams the following questions:

  • What are the five words that you think best describe ‘what we want our workplace to be like’?
  • Identify the behaviours that support these concepts

With a little help from Simon, we split into four groups to discuss and share ideas. The teams wrote their words on flipchart paper, then drilled down a bit more and added some behaviours to support these ideas.

Group 1’s comments…

Group 2’s comments…

Group 3’s comments…

Group 4’s comments…

I then took the reps’ hard work and spent a bit of time grouping the ideas together:

Notwithstanding some small differences in expression and vocabulary, I think six clear themes emerge:

Words that describe what we want our workplace to be like Number of times mentioned
Respectful 4
Flexible 4
Collaborative 3
Positive 3
Professional 3
Supportive 3

I also pulled out some of the related behaviours that the reps thought supported these descriptive words and have expressed this relationship as follows:

We are…  I will…
  • Be considerate to others
  • Follow the building protocols and etiquette
  • Respect our environment
  • Treat Smart Working as the standard
  • Be open to change and new ways of working
  • Value teamwork
  • Communicate clearly with others
  • Be inclusive
  • Break down silos and work with others
  • Be optimistic and forward-looking
  • Look for opportunities in change
  • Appreciate our diversity
  • Be mindful of the needs of others
  • Understand others’ boundaries
  • Offer support and help to colleagues when needed
  • Be approachable and friendly
  • Keep a sense of fun

So there you have it, some ‘crowd-sourced’ shared ways of working, courtesy of the PSR reps.

The next step will be to build these six words and their related behaviours into the building protocols. Better get to work!

Have a fun and restful Christmas and New Year break (when it comes!)

Louise Soutar
PSR Project Officer

Construction update

There’s been lots of things happening on site recently, with particular progress taking place around the new building foyer area, so I thought I’d share a few of the latest pictures with you. Enjoy!


This is a selection of views from the new foyer area with some very nice shots of the feature brick around the café entrance…

Photo of building development of new foyer area at WBH at Eden Campus

Photo of building work of new foyer area at WBH with feature brick around the café entrance

This is where the main staircase will be installed. Café area on the left hand side of the image…

This is the café area. Doesn’t look very much like a café at the moment but this will change when the servery and other partitions are put in place…

Photo of building site at WBH cafe area

Here’s the view from the Library office window, looking at the parking area and estuary beyond…

Some more views of the ground floor office areas. Lots of natural light coming in…

Photo of view from the Library at WBH

Lifts are now being installed…

The first floor break out areas are taking shape and really changing the nature of the space…

Photographs of first floor break out areas at WBH

Some more views of the first floor office areas. Lots of natural light coming in…

And finally, one of the first views we’ve had of the second floor! The conference room and other areas on the second floor are starting to take shape…

Hope you enjoyed this update… more soon!

Louise Soutar
PSR Project Officer

Support for Change

To help with the changes ahead, CAPOD have introduced a new support initiative called the Transition Pathway to help staff moving out to Eden Campus as well as around town.

Someone once said the only constant in life is change, but that doesn’t make it any less challenging. The opening of Walter Bower House next year will see many of us going through a period of change. In anticipation of this, CAPOD have done what they do best and launched an excellent new initiative: the Transition Pathway.

The Transition Pathway has five key themes:

  1. Wellbeing
  2. Smart Working
  3. Dynamic Teams
  4. Culture and Collaboration
  5. Transition and Beyond

The activities within these themes are designed to provide support for individuals and teams before, during and after the relocation to Walter Bower House. The programme is intended to be ‘mix-and-match’, allowing you to create your own pathway and engage with the activities you feel will benefit you most.

Some events are bookable by individuals; others can be provided for work teams on request. The events for individuals include six specially-designed resilience workshops, scheduled on the following dates:

Take a look at the Transition Pathway web page for a full overview of the programme.

Other Transition Pathway events are scheduled to take place before the end of November so please do check the website soon and make sure to sign up for any events that interest you.

As always, CAPOD is interested in hearing your thoughts and ideas. Email the team at transition-pathway@st-andrews.ac.uk and let them know what you think.

Louise Soutar
Project Officer (Professional Services Relocation)

Café and comms for WBH

We dedicated August’s PSR Forum discussion to two important things – our café and comms.

After a quick construction update from Andy Walsh (latest site pics), Deborah Leitch from RBS came along to let us see the finalised design for the WBH café and to give us an idea of what plans she has for this space.

As a reminder, here’s the architect’s original visualisation of the café:


We’re conscious that the many eatery and coffee options within St Andrews will not be as easily accessible for those based in WBH. Due to this, RBS are keen to make the very most of the space and give the users of the WBH café access to as many tasty food and beverage options as possible.

Here’s a new visualisation of the finalised design for the counter area:

As you can see, this updates and changes the original design slightly to accommodate more options. The hot counter will include filled rolls and porridge in the morning and then hot snack pots and soups in the lunch service. The multideck fridges on the right-hand side of the image will include sandwiches, pasta pots, pasties and salads as well as fruits, yoghurts and other sweet treats along with varied drinks.

The area between the multideck fridges also now boasts an eco-friendly Brita Vivreau chilled still and sparkling water dispenser, helping us to move towards our goal of a plastic-free café. Another nice touch is the barista coffee machine which should give you your full barista-style caffeine hit without having to leave the building.

Deborah is always looking for new ways to make these café spaces as good as they can be. One of the new initiatives she is considering is whether to operate the WBH café as a cashless facility – so that would mean credit or debit card payment only. This would bring benefits such as decreased cash handling costs, increased security for café staff and faster payment at checkout, and would also help to fulfil the University’s vision to be as cash-free as possible.

However, the cashless café is still only a proposal and we’re interested to hear what you think. Drop me an email and I’ll make sure your feedback is heard.

The second main agenda item this month was project communication. All of the reps gave a quick update on how they are passing on information from the Forums plus any other new information or discussions taking place on our Teams group. The good news is that there’s clearly lots of communication happening out there and examples of good practice going on. There are reps using all-staff emails, local Teams groups, noticeboards and other methods of communication tailored to the unique needs of their units.

It’s important that you feel informed and comfortable with the levels and methods of communication, and that you know you can use your rep(s) as a way of feeding back and creating a two-way conversation with the project. If you have any thoughts or ideas for new communication initiatives within your team, get in touch with your rep to see how these could be taken forward.

Until next time!

Louise Soutar
PSR Project Officer

Photo update from WBH

I was lucky enough to visit the WBH site last week and see how things are progressing.

Here’s a few photos to show you the latest progress and what’s going on behind the scenes:

The poured concrete floor of the library is looking good.

Plenty of light and clear blue sky in the view from the first floor office area.

A bit of industrial chic on the first floor with a good view of the roof.

A great pic from Caitlin Bain showing the acres of glass that will let the light flood into the office spaces.

I also watched the roof sheets being lowered into position and installed on the new entrance structure, which starts to give the building a bit more of its final shape and form.

Hopefully that’s given you a taste of what’s happening behind the scenes at WBH. There’s lots going on and, even better, no bat sightings to report.

Until next time!

Louise Soutar
PSR Project Officer


Get into the gym at WBH

This month, the Forum took a close look at the proposals for the Walter Bower House gym.

Allan Gartshore, Strength and Conditioning Manager at Saints Sport, talked us through the layout and equipment planned for the new gym. Using their considerable knowledge and experience in gym design, the Saints Sport team have put together a facility offering a good selection of popular equipment.

The equipment has been chosen to give users both strength and cardiovascular workout options and should offer something for both experienced gym users and newbies alike.

Here is a 3D model of the proposed gym at WBH, showing a bird’s-eye view of the layout and equipment:

And here’s a detailed breakdown of what’s on offer:


  1. 2 treadmills
  2. 1 elliptical cross trainer
  3. 1 recline running machine
  4. 1 ‘Skillrow’ rowing machine
  5. 2 indoor cycling bikes


  1. 1 dual adjustable pulley
  2. 1 ‘Plurima’ multigym training station
  3. 1 Multipower assisted strength workout/Smith machine
  4. 2 adjustable weight and workout benches
  5. Selection of chrome dumbbells and rack
  6. 4 stretch mats

If you’re more of a runner or a cyclist than a gym enthusiast, don’t worry. WBH will also have a changing room, lockers and showers available for use by all, plus a drying room for those sweaty clothes you may want to quarantine.

The proposed opening hours will likely be similar to the main Sports Centre (6.30am to 10pm) but we’ll keep the reps informed of any updates. You’ll need a Saints Sport membership to use the WBH gym which, of course, would give you access to all of the excellent facilities at the main Sports Centre as well.

So that’s a quick overview of what will be on offer at WBH. However, if you’d like to find out more about membership or the facilities offered by Saints Sport – or see the equipment in action before you join – drop into the Sports Centre to find out more.

That’s it for this month… have a great summer, however you plan to spend it!

Louise Soutar
PSR Project Officer