The Aletta Jacobs hall is twice as big now, but will that be enough?
Is the supersized Aletta Jacobs hall even big enough now?
The renovations started late 2018 and were finished last week. Back then, the UG said the biggest challenge was to keep the noise level to a minimum so as not to bother students and lecturers. With the campus deserted the past two months, contractor BAM didn’t have to worry about that.
The UG decided as far back as 2016 that the hall needed to become twice as big, as the university was already having a hard time coping with the lack of space. This led to exams being held in the evening and on weekends, in external halls in the Martiniplaza, among other places.
The renovations were supposed to mark an end to the external halls and weekend exams, but the corona crisis and social distancing have thrown a spanner in the works. A university spokesperson says they can only wait and see how many people will fit into the hall.
Behind the dark orange façade of the new addition to the building, there are two new lecture halls (200 and 450 seats), an exam hall (with 590 exam computers), an extra foyer, and study facilities.
The extension, which measures 5,400 square metres, borders the existing hall and partially covers the pond next to it. The pond was filled up during construction to serve as equipment site, but will be dug out again. The new wing will serve as the entrance to the hall, with the old entrance becoming the exit.
The building has also become more sustainable, thanks to a geothermic power system and more than five hundred solar panels. The indoor climate has been improved with the help of a climate control system. Finally, the bicycle storage facility has been added on to.
The interior of the hall will be finished over the next few months. It will be available at the start of the next academic year. ‘We hope we’ll be able to make use of all our beautiful new facilities in the new academic year, in accordance with the guidelines that will be in place’, said Hans Biemans with the board of directors.