After nine years of planning, it seems that the construction of a new sports centre at Zernike is finally going to happen.
Two years ago, the UG, Hanze University of Applied Sciences, and ACLO signed an agreement for the new construction, the costs of which were initially estimated at 30.5 million euros, but have now increased to 51.7 million euros.
The university discussed the plans during the resources committee meeting on Thursday. It’s up to the university council to approve the increase in costs.
The extra cost is due to additional expansions that ACLO wants to add to the original plans. On top of that, the original construction costs were based on 2020 prices, which have significantly risen since then.
ACLO aims to include an extra squash court, expand the climbing wall by 150 square meters, and enlarge various indoor halls. The goal is to increase the centre’s capacity. The additional costs are estimated at €5.5 million.
It’s crucial for ACLO to thoroughly consider the potential expansion of indoor spaces now, since the plans suggest that the new construction will not have the possibility of later adjusting indoor capacity. The building is intended to be used for approximately sixty years.
If the plan is approved, the UG will front the costs. ACLO will then cover the investment and operational expenses for the additional features. Consequently, the subscription will become more expensive: 100 euros per year compared to the current 60 euros per year.
The increased construction costs will be proportionally divided among the UG, Hanze, and ACLO. This allocation will be 52 percent for UG (which will also become the owner), 27 percent for Hanze, and 21 percent for ACLO.
The current sports centre dates back to 1967 and is heavily outdated in terms of facilities, safety, flexibility, and sustainability. According to the plans, renovating the current centre would be a waste of money on several fronts. The new centre’s location will be the current outdoor field 3 in combination with a section of the athletics track.
The final step involves approval from the university council, Hanze’s participation council, and the supervisory boards of both institutes. Although council members had several questions on Thursday, there are no indications that they will block the plan.
The council will make its final decision in two weeks. If the plans are approved, construction will commence next year, and the new sports centre will open in 2027.