News - December 14, 2010

New student rooms at Bornsesteeg look possible

Wageningen University and housing provider Idealis want to build 400 new student rooms on the Bornsesteeg. They just need Wageningen town council’s blessing.

Aerial view of the Bornsesteeg. New accommodation may be built on the empty (white) spaces.
Idealis and Wageningen University see scope for a long-term solution to the student housing crisis. And it would be on the Bornsesteeg between the Nijenoord Allee and the campus. 'On the left and the right side of the Bornsesteeg there are two promising locations', says Hans van Medenbach, director of Idealis. 'We could create accommodation there for 350 to 400 students.'
The university confirms that 'constructive talks' are taking place with Idealis. According to spokesman Simon Vink, the collaboration of the town council will be the decisive factor. 'The crucial thing is whether the council will agree to building accommodation near the campus', explains Vink.
The town council wants to do some thorough research first on the housing needs in Wageningen, says Wageningen councillor Michiel Uitdehaag. 'Unfortunately, that is a time-consuming process, whereas the problem is urgent.' But the councillor is not pessimistic. 'In the next few years there is going to be special attention to specific groups such as the elderly and students. The pressure on housing for families has gone down now.'

Student council satisfied
Even if the town council agrees quickly, it will take a while before the new buildings go up. In the shorter term, students may be put up in semi-permanent housing units and in empty Wageningen UR buildings. However, these cannot be converted into permanent housing, says Vink. And because of the strict regulations on housing standards, converting them into temporary housing is too expensive.
The student council welcomes the plans. 'The main thing is that accommodation should be found for the increasing numbers of students, both in the short and the long term', says Martijn Kuller, who represents VeSte on the student council. 'We are happy with all the initiatives and hope that the town council will go along with them. Up to now, the university, the town council and Idealis kept passing the buck. And it's the students who suffer as a result.'