First section of Feringa Building completed, uncertainty around second section (UPDATE)

The first section of the Feringa Building has been completed faster than expected. However, contractor Ballast Nedam no longer intends to build the second section. They were supposed to commence construction in 2024.

The state-of-the-art Feringa Building was originally supposed to be completed by 2021. However, the construction faced one delay after another: issues with the tendering process, the impact of the pandemic, inflation, and other unforeseen circumstances.

Nevertheless, the building has now been officially handed over to the UG – a few months earlier than the last projected scenario just before the summer. However, the Faculty of Science and Engineering cannot immediately start using it. ‘Construction still needs to be completed’, said portfolio manager Esther Marije Klop in the FSE faculty council on Wednesday. ‘This involves resolving outstanding issues.’

Relocation in March

The building can be furnished starting November. However, the relocation of departments is still scheduled for March. ‘The operation is too complex’, stated Klop. Teaching there is less complicated, and so students will have classes in the new building from February.

A new issue has come up, however. Ballast Nedam will not be constructing the second part of the 200-million-euro building. It was intended to be located where the wings 5117 and 5118 of Nijenborgh 4 currently stand.

‘Ballast Nedam adjusted its strategy for utility construction activities last year’, says UG spokesperson Elies Wempe-Kouwenhoven. ‘Projects such as the Feringa Building are not in line with that strategy. We mutually agreed to part ways.’ She cannot say under which terms the contract was terminated.

As a result, the UG has had to start a new tender process, but the start of construction in 2024 is still ‘realistic’.

However, the construction will be more expensive than initially budgeted. These costs will be covered through an indexing scheme. ‘Agreements are being made with the builder about this. Construction now costs more than four years ago, simply because construction prices are rising’, says Wempe-Kouwenhoven.

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