Plans for new building at Spinoza site, hotel facilities and student housing in Erasmus tower

16 Jan 2020

Big plans: the Executive Board wants to construct a new building for the humanities where the current Spinoza building is located. The administrators are also considering renovating the Erasmus building to create student housing and hotel facilities.

The plan to construct a new building for the Faculty of Arts and the Faculty of Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies has not yet been finalised. The Executive Board is currently exploring the feasibility of these plans and expects to make a definitive decision after the summer.

A large-scale renovation of the Erasmus building was already in the works, in part because the heating, air conditioning and sewerage systems in Nijmegen’s tallest building were outdated and in need of replacement. In the run-up to the renovation, which was scheduled to start in 2023, employees would have to be temporarily relocated. This may no longer be necessary, as the new plans would allow them to move into their new offices immediately. The new building is expected to be completed in 2025.

Entrance

The ground floor and the entrance to the Erasmus building were thoroughly renovated in recent months. This renovation work is expected to be completed in early February of this year. The university hopes that the new entrance, which features a prominent statue of Desiderius Erasmus, will serve as a visual reminder that visitors are entering the domain of the humanities. The elevators were also renovated.

Nevertheless, according to a message on RadboudNet, the Executive Board prefers to construct a new building to better respond to the demands of research and education. The university also believes that a new building at the site of the Spinoza building would appeal more to students, would be more sustainable and more efficient in terms of the use of space, and would reduce operating costs.

Does this mean that renovating the entrance to the Erasmus building was a waste of money? Not according to the spokesperson for the Executive Board: “The Erasmus building isn’t going anywhere. Future residents will also benefit from the renovated ground floor.”

The Executive Board estimates the cost of a new building to be 70 million euros, which isn’t more expensive than temporarily relocating the humanities while the Erasmus building is being renovated. By way of comparison: the new Maria Montessori building, which will be completed next year, cost approximately 75 million euros to construct.

Conference rooms

Nevertheless, the Erasmus building will still need to be renovated, even if the humanities leave the tower for good. In the end, the costs will be significantly higher than estimated. The Executive Board is considering a mix of facilities for the tallest building on campus, including room for education, student housing, hotel facilities and conference rooms. They are also exploring whether the institutes currently housed there, such as the Radboud Graduate School of Education and In’to Languages, can stay.

Students and staff will be informed of the Executive Board’s plans later today. The next step will be to come up with a list of must-haves and nice-to-haves for the new building.

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