The first employees move to the Maria Montessori building within a few weeks
Within a few weeks, the first employees of the Faculty of Social Sciences will move to the Maria Montessori building, and the building will open to students in January. Due to corona, the design of the building is a bit different than initially planned.
‘It’s coming along well and quickly,’ says Geert Jansen of Campus & Facilities about the construction of the Maria Montessori building. The energy-neutral building with a set of solar panels on the roof is almost finished. Next week the furniture will be placed in the two-part building.
The delivery date was originally planned for 1 October. “The contractor has had a few setbacks due to corona,” says Jansen. “But the relocation of employees to the building is still going according to plan.”
From 2 November through the end of December, employees of the Faculty of Social Sciences will move floor by floor to their new workplace. Shortly before the Christmas holidays, the technical workshop and the research labs will have their turn. The Grand Café in the connecting bridge between the north and south building will open early next year. ‘You can go there for coffee and sandwiches,’ says Jansen.
In January 2021, the building will be fully occupied, also by students, but corona measures will be fully taken into account. Jansen reports that ‘For the time being, employees have to work from home unless there really is no other option.’
Mandatory walking routes
The same corona rules apply in the Maria Montessori building as elsewhere on campus. Mandatory walking routes and service and hygiene points will be introduced, and the capacity of toilets will be reduced. No more than two people are allowed in the lifts at the same time.
As long as there is no vaccine, the layout of the building will be a little different. For example, there are fewer student workplaces than originally planned, while four-person offices will currently only have furniture for three workplaces.
In the lecture and teaching rooms, where a lot of daylight enters thanks to large atria, fewer lectures than expected will take place for a while. ‘The seats are quite close together there,’ says Jansen. ‘Large lectures are therefore still taking place in halls such as the Vereeniging and the Stadsschouwburg, where there is more space.’
Tree planting day
The constructions on the exterior of the building with a flat appearance, such as a pavilion, will not be done until mid-December. ‘On the side of the Spinoza building, the paving is already well advanced. On the other side, where the contractor’s construction chain is located, the work has yet to start.’
Many trees had to be cut down to enable the construction of the Maria Montessori building and the renovation of the Berchmanianum. Therefore, a tree planting day has been planned at both buildings on 18 November, provided this is possible in light of the corona pandemic and in compliance with the RIVM guidelines. Children from primary schools in the neighbourhood will plant ninety trees on that day.
Depending on the state of the corona pandemic, an official opening of the building is planned for April or May. ‘That opening is combined with the Radboudumc. That way, it is more likely that we can bring a dignitary to Nijmegen’, says Jansen, but does not yet want to divulge who that will be.
A film about the Maria Montessori building
Commissioned by the Bouwkamer, a Nijmegen real estate club, Thea van den Heuvel made a film about the construction of the Maria Montessori building. The film lasts half an hour and can be viewed via this link.