Construction plans Humanities building postponed

13 May 2024

The new building plans for the Humanities building have been cancelled for the foreseeable future. The Executive Board has opted to put the plans for the renovation of the Spinoza building on ice for at least a year. The reason given is a shortage of funds.

The construction plans for the faculties of Arts and Philosophy, Theology, and Religious Sciences will be delayed by at least a year. For the next few years, Radboud University’s budget will be reduced by millions of euros, which means that various building- and renovation plans will have to be postponed. The university posted an announcement on their website today.

Spinoza Building

The 24.000 square meter building was set to be delivered in 2027, but now employees at both faculties will be working in the Erasmus building for another year. The new building will be built at the site of the current Spinoza building, reusing the frame of the old building, as well as other materials. DP6, an architectural bureau from Delft, won the tender.

The Executive board expects that they will be able to offer more perspective on the future housing for the humanities in the first half of 2025. It is also possible that the campus plan, which includes all construction- and renovation plans up to 2032, will need more adjustments. The exact nature of the changes is as yet unclear.

Major disappointment

‘This is a major disappointment for everyone who was looking forward to new housing’, vice chair Agnes Muskens responds on the University website. ‘The same is true for those people who worked hard on the development. But at the same time, we owe it to our students, our employees, and society to make sure the university’s financial management is healthy.’

One of the main causes of the University’s recent financial difficulties is the inflow of students, which is much smaller than expected. As universities make budgets based on prospective student numbers, that can lead to a structural negative result of millions for Radboud University. At the same time, costs are up, including wages. Deficits worth millions of euros are a possible consequence.

According to the statement, because the Executive Board wants to prioritise education and research in their spending, that means other areas will have to tighten the belt. Building plans seem a logical choice, as the prospective costs for the 2022 plan have risen significantly. The Board also wants to examine other cost-cutting measures, in cooperation with the various faculty boards.

Translated by Jasper Pesch

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