Third residential block at least three years off

The University Council is keen for the Executive Board to look into whether a third residential tower can be built on campus within the foreseeable future. This would ease the shortage of rooms for students in Eindhoven. Vice-President Nicole Ummelen has said that the university is already in discussion with various parties to move this forward, but that a lead time of three to four years can be expected for a project of this scale.

photo Bart van Overbeeke

Charlot Felderhof, a member of the student faction DAS, enquired yesterday in the University Council meeting what progress is being made on the proposal made by Hurks Vastgoed in November of last year for the construction of a residential, work and learning complex on the site currently occupied by the tennis courts belonging to Fellenoord and Don Quishoot's hockey pitches. Hurks has built on the TU/e campus in the past; on a previous occasion it was commissioned by the Woonbedrijf housing corporation to build the Aurora residential tower (shown on the picture above).

The room shortage in Eindhoven is becoming ever more pressing and so the University Council is keen to see TU/e among those taking their share of responsibility, and looking into the options still available on the campus. Hurks' proposal is now some four months old and the University Council sees it as a good step in the right direction. Ummelen said that the university certainly shares the concern felt and responsibility for the accommodation of students, “but when it comes to finding solutions this proves to be a difficult issue”.

Lead time

According to Ummelen, the university is in discussion with Hurks about the proposal, but as yet other parties are also free to submit project proposals. She made it clear at the outset that no concrete steps should be expected in the near future. “Construction projects like this are not realized quickly, a lead time of some three to four years is sure to be involved. Nor do we want to start building like crazy since whatever we build on this site has to fit comfortably in the Campus Vision 2030. On campus we are looking to create a place where people want to study, work and live, and so whenever we build we have to carefully consider the social impact of our decisions.”

To the question posed by Felderhof as to whether students can be involved at an early stage when plans like this are being developed, Ummelen said no. “This is initially a matter for the board and strict regulations govern many aspects of it. Only once the decision has been made to build and it is clear what will be built can students become involved. They will then be more than welcome to participate in the subsequent process.”

In conclusion Board President Jan Mengelers remarked that an extra residential tower on the campus “is a drop in the ocean” when seen in the context of the room shortage as a whole. “This is surely a matter for the municipality, for housing corporations and other external parties, to develop the appropriate plans  and implement them,” said Mengelers.

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