The UvA has decided to further elaborate the design of the REC V education building with a contractor yet to be selected. Depending on the outcome of this process, it will be decided whether a contract for the construction of REC V will also be concluded with this contractor. This investment decision is scheduled for the first quarter of 2021 and gives the Executive Board time to investigate in the coming period how the coronavirus crisis will affect education and the need for teaching rooms.
Strict restrictive measures are currently in place on the UvA campuses to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Wherever possible, the UvA has switched to online education. This choice applies for the period during which these restrictive measures remain in force. Once coronavirus has been contained, education will resume on campus. As the current experiences with online education can provide insights that will enable us to find an ideal balance between on-campus education and distance learning, the UvA does not yet wish to make a major investment commitment for the construction of REC V in this situation. However, UvA will take a further step by working with a contractor to further develop the design of the building.
The design envisages the construction of a flexible education building with lecture rooms for groups from 300 to 1,000 people. The faculties at the Roeterseiland Campus (Economics & Business, Law and Social & Behavioural Sciences) need this because there is a lack of large teaching spaces available. Currently, we are having to use teaching rooms outside the campus.
When developing the design, the UvA certainly didn’t rush into anything. The original design was put on hold by the Executive Board last year because the construction costs were considered to be too high. Subsequently, research was carried out into a cheaper alternative design. It was established that, while a simpler design might lead to modest cost savings, it also involves a substantial loss of quality. This result prompted the Executive Board to approve the original design. The UvA Accommodations Plan covers the total costs of the new building.
The environmental permit for the construction of REC V on the Roeterseiland Campus was issued by the Municipality of Amsterdam in September 2019. The contractor selection procedure is expected to start in June 2020.
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