Faculties want a large new building in the heart of the city

The faculties of Behavioural and Social Sciences (BSS), Law, and Arts want a large and modern building for education in the centre of the city.

The location, size, and costs of the building are undetermined as yet, says Hanneke van den Berg with the law faculty. ‘But would be several thousand square metres.’ The building would have to be located in the city centre, not at Zernike. ‘The city centre is our campus’, say Van den Berg.

The extra building would be separate from the old public library at the Oude Boteringestraat (OB18), which is still being renovated. ‘That’s going to be our faculty’s common room’, says Van den Berg. ‘It’ll be mainly offices and workspace. The new building would have classrooms.’ The smaller faculties of Theology and Religious Studies and Philosophy are also in.

Labyrinthine

Van den Berg says the current classrooms in the city centre are outdated. The Harmonie complex, which currently houses the law and arts faculties, will be thoroughly renovated after the law department leaves. BSS, currently housed in a number of buildings connected by a labyrinthine set of hallways, is also due for an overhaul. But a facelift wouldn’t be enough, says Van den Berg.

Certainly not considering the current student numbers, which have gone up by 25 percent since 2017 at the law faculty alone, which the greatest increase taking place over the past two years. In order to teach all those students, the faculty has spent a million euros hiring approximately sixty new people, according to law faculty dean Wilbert Kolkman.

Abandoned

The new building won’t be ready for at least five years. It’s ‘possible’ that the other buildings will then be abandoned, says Van den Berg. The faculties have asked the UG’s Property and Investments Projects department to develop the idea.

The renovations at OB18 are scheduled to be finished in 2023. But it’s not sure this will actually be the case; two heritage protection organisations have objected to the construction of an extra storey on the building. But Van den Berg assures that the preparations are still underway.

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