The UG and the Hanze University of Applied Sciences want to build a new sports centre at the Zernike campus. The budget for the new building is a maximum of 30.5 million euros.
The current athletic complex at Zernike is fifty years old and in need of replacement. It’s too small, doesn’t have sufficient facilities, and is neither efficient nor sustainable. The board of directors wants an entirely new building that can accommodate twenty thousand UG and Hanze students and staff.
‘A lot of facilities are antiquated’, said board president Jouke de Vries during the university council board committee meeting. ‘It’s not particularly modern.’
The UG and the Hanze have been collaborating on providing students a place to exercise since 2001. The Hanze also uses the building for sports education. The Hanze currently contributes a third of the costs, in proportion to the number of Hanze students who use the sports centre.
This partnership between the UG and the Hanze will continue. The UG will finance the building, making it the owner. The Hanze will contribute ten million euros – a third – to the building’s operating costs.
It hasn’t yet been decided where the new building will be constructed. Otherwise, says sports centre director and steering committee chair Hendrike Schut, the current sports centre would have to close down temporarily. ‘It wouldn’t make sense right now. We just can’t.’
Schut already has a suitable location in mind. It’s important that sports facilities aren’t put away in a corner of the campus somewhere. ‘It’s important that sports contribute to people’s vitality and that it motivates them to exercise.’
However, the fact that no definitive location has been picket yet could mean a delay to the whole project, an advisory report that the General Administrative and Legal Affairs and Property and Investment Project departments wrote for the board. The same applies to the budget, which was drafted with the 2020 price level in mind, when construction of the centre probably won’t start until 2023 at the earliest.
‘Due to the rising prices in the current uncertain market, the 2020 budget won’t be enough to construct the building that’s now envisioned’, the advisory report says.
De Vries is aware of this issue. ‘The pandemic and the container crisis have led to intense inflation’, he said. ‘We’re aware of that and we will keep an eye on that.’