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Sports hall not finished before mid-2014

A decision will be made next spring about a new sports hall. The Vice-President of the Executive Board, André Postema, announced this recently in a committee meeting of the University Council. At the earliest, a fully functional hall will be there after the summer of 2014.

Discussions about a new sports hall have been ongoing since the failure in 2009 of the Calatrava campus in Randwijck, which included ultramodern sports facilities. Since then a lot of time has been lost in a tussle between parties about responsibility and financial consequences. The parties concerned were housing corporation Servatius, the Maastricht city council and Maastricht University. A year ago, it briefly seemed as if a solution was about to be reached and there would be a sports hall in 2013, but that period of time will have to be extended by at least one year, confirms Martin Geurts, head of UM real estate.

In the meantime, an agreement has almost been reached with Servatius about the land upon which the Calatrava campus should have been built. Geurts: “It is being made suitable for another development. The foundations will have to be partly or completely removed.” The sports hall, however, will not be built there. At the moment, the UM and the city council, who also wants to let primary schools use the hall, are discussing two options. The one includes more or less the present location of the temporary sports hall, at the back of the Debye building. The Executive Board, however, prefers the second plan, which is joining up with the MUMC’s Health Campus, where a sports facility has been planned that also serves scientific objectives (movement sciences), and partly in the framework of lifestyle and fitness. The MUMC has to develop plans for this. An investment is also expected from the city council. “But should this variant not go ahead, then we will go back to our first plan,” said Postema to the University Council committee. No matter what, Postema said, “substantially more of the UM’s money will have to go towards sports. It is possible that faculties and students will be asked for a contribution.”



Wammes Bos



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