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Shutdown UG buildings works out for renovation projects

Shutdown UG buildings works out for renovation projects

Renovation projects at the UG have not been hampered by the corona crisis. It has its advantages, although it doesn’t necessarily mean the work is going faster.

21 April om 13:11 uur.
Laatst gewijzigd op 22 November 2020
om 16:20 uur.
April 21 at 13:11 PM.
Last modified on November 22, 2020
at 16:20 PM.

Door Thijs Fens

21 April om 13:11 uur.
Laatst gewijzigd op 22 November 2020
om 16:20 uur.

By Thijs Fens

April 21 at 13:11 PM.
Last modified on November 22, 2020
at 16:20 PM.

Thijs Fens

Freelancejournalist
Volledig bio

Freelance journalist
Full bio

‘The good news during these bizarre times is that the renovations aren’t disrupting any educational activities’, says Marleen Iemhoff, facility manager at the Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences (BSS). The large-scale renovation of the old extension at the Heymans complex is nearly finished. 

‘Normally, the builders would have to cease drilling and demolition activities by nine in the morning, but now they can keep going all day. They don’t need to be quiet because of students and staff. They’re getting a lot of work done’, says Iemhoff. ‘Plus, they can blast the radio all day long’, she says, laughing. ‘They couldn’t do that before.’

Delay

In order to obey the distancing rules, the builders don’t carpool as much and stagger their lunch breaks. ‘It’s all being monitored by the site manager.’

The building was originally supposed to be finished in April, but the deadline has been moved to early May. The delay would have happened with or without the coronavirus, says Iemhoff. When the renovation’s done, it’s time for the internal infrastructure. ‘We hope everything can be delivered on time, but the virus could pose a problem, for instance if certain factories are shut down.’ 

Asbestos

The Linnaeusborg is also being renovated. ‘Because the building is closed, no one is bothered by the activities’, says FSE housing manager Andrys Weitenberg. ‘The builders have much more freedom.’ 

Nevertheless, the project, which involves the creation of two new laboratories, has suffered a three-week delay. ‘The contractor has less staff because of the coronavirus.’

One advantage of the shutdown is that there is now time for projects that would have presented a challenge otherwise. Extra asbestos has been removed at Nijenborgh 4, says Weitenberg. ‘Now is the ideal time to do that. There are few risks involved and it bothers no one.’

Quiet roads

The advantages are also evident at the Zernikelaan project, where bicycle paths and sidewalks are being renovated. ‘The roads are much quieter’, says grounds management head Mark Bloeming. ‘There are fewer pedestrians and cyclists, and the buses aren’t as full. We’ve been able to move up several projects that would have otherwise caused a lot of nuisance.’ 

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