Lack of room at Zernike: Outdated Nijenborgh 4 may not get demolished after all

Nijenborgh 4 on Zernike Campus probably won’t get demolished any time soon, thinks Esther Marije Klop, faculty board member at the Faculty of Science and Engineering (FSE). Due to the lack of room at the faculty, the outdated buildings are sorely needed.

The increasing student numbers means FSE has been suffering from a lack of room for years. They currently have 7,300 students at the faculty. The new Feringa building, which is scheduled to be finished in 2023, will solve some of the problem, but even then, the faculty is left with an estimated deficiency of ten thousand square metres.

Earlier, the faculty considered leaving up one or two sections of the outdated Nijenborgh 4 and renovating them, but now, they’ve decided to leave up everything, except sections 17 and 18. These sections need to make way for part of the Feringa building.

Demolish

‘It would be a waste to demolish the building when we’re in dire need of space’, says managing director Esther Marije Klop.  Ultimately, the faculty wants to expand its student numbers to eight thousand.

‘But we’ll need extra space in order to guarantee the quality of education’, says Klop. ‘These two decisions affect each other directly. If we can’t find the space, we’ll have to take action to stop the increase in student numbers. We barely have room for them as it is.’

The faculty and the department of Property and Investments Project (VGI) have been trying to find a permanent solution. One idea is to leave up parts of Nijenborgh 4 after all. ‘We’re looking into it. But it has its drawbacks as well, so we might decide against it after all.’

Rent space elsewhere

The faculty has tried several things to find more room. Plans to renovate buildings elsewhere at Zernike weren’t feasible. Attempts to rent lab space outside the campus failed.

In the meantime, construction on the Feringa building was delayed by several months. ‘We think the first people will be able to move in after the summer next year’, says Klop.

The construction was also delayed several more months due to the pandemic. On top of that, there was an issue getting enough materials. ‘But we’re trying to keep the delays to a minimum.’

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