Feringa Building construction kicks off at official launch

FSE Dean Jasper Knoesters, Hans Biemans of the university board and Nobel Prize winner Ben Feringa (far right) celebrate at the launch party for the Feringa Building. Foto Edward Szekeres

Feringa Building construction kicks off at official launch

Although contractor Ballast Nedam started with the drilling of large holes filled with concrete as early as this summer, the real brickwork on the planned Feringa Building only starts now.
By Edward Szekeres
18 September om 11:54 uur.
Laatst gewijzigd op 18 September 2019
om 12:46 uur.
September 18 at 11:54 AM.
Last modified on September 18, 2019
at 12:46 PM.

The University held an official launch event this Wednesday in the cafeteria of the Nijenborgh 4 building, which will eventually give way to the new construction. 

Nobel Prize winner Ben Feringa, the building’s namesake, took a virtual tour of the future premises. ‘I am absolutely proud’, he said, after taking off the special headset.

The Feringa Building, with three V-shaped wings and room for 1,400 students and 850 staff, will be erected in two stages. The majority of the work will be done by the summer of 2021, explained Edwin de Kuiper from Ballast Nedam’s executive board.

The second phase, expected to be completed two years later, will include the demolishment and replacement of the outdated physics and chemistry building on Nijenborgh 4. After the flattening of Nijenborgh, the oldest building of the Faculty of Science and Engineering will be no more than 12 years old.

Too small

Yet the new 64,000 square metre construction, also touted as a ‘playground for science’ and one of the biggest buildings in the country, will not be big enough, according to Faculty Dean Jasper Knoester. ‘We are a faculty on the move and we’re already thinking ahead of our next step,’ he said. ‘Our plans are bigger than the projected capacity of the Feringa Building.’

The grandiose construction, with an estimated cost of more than 200 million euros, has already been mired with controversy. A recent court ruling found the RUG was not allowed to opt out of working with a consortium of three companies who were supposed to install the new building’s technical infrastructure. Instead, the University privately gave the job to a third party, citing a lower price.

Following the court ruling, the RUG now started a new open procurement process, where all parties can submit bids for the job. The University says this will not delay the construction’s deadline. ‘We expect the tender to be finished by the end of this year,’ said RUG spokesperson Jorien Bakker.