The building of the Dialogue Centre on campus is delayed by at least six months. The budget WUR allocated to the project is not sufficient, say the potential contractors.
© Broekbakema Architects
The Dialogue Centre is to be built opposite FrieslandCampina, on the corner of the bus lane and the Mansholtlaan. The building, which will replace the Aula in the town centre, is intended to form a hub for dialogue between WUR and the wider community. A draft design was presented in November 2017. But the tendering process that followed ran into difficulties, says Peter Booman, director of Facilities and Services at WUR.
According to Booman, five consortia of contractors, architects and consulting firms applied. ‘But none of the parties could work with the maximum sum we had allocated to the building work.’ This is a reflection of the recovery of the construction market, says Booman. The tender process has been halted and a new one is under preparation.
The new tender differs from the first one in that this time a more fully worked-out design is being put out to tender. This is being produced by Broekbakema Architects from Rotterdam, who made the draft design too. The design and a new budget are currently on the drawing board. Booman says the costs will certainly be higher than originally foreseen. Whether the Executive Board will give the go-ahead will be announced at the end of October. After that, the new tender process can start and Booman expects work to begin in April or May of next year. Originally the idea was to start building during the centenary year, 2018. WUR will get 1.6 million euros in government funding for the meeting place on campus, which will host not just PhD graduation ceremonies but also symposia and other meetings. A further donation of 2 million euros is coming from the WICC Fund (from the sale of the former International Agriculture Centre).