Science - May 12, 2005

Rijnsteeg to be demolished

Wageningen is going to be one ‘sterflat’ poorer. In the spring of 2006 the student apartment building Rijnsteeg will be demolished. The accommodation office SSHW announced this last Thursday, 28 April. There are too many student rooms empty now, and the SSHW is unable to rent these to other segments of the population. The plans to build other new apartments will go ahead

Last year the SSHW decided to postpone its planned renovation of the Rijnsteeg, and ended up only replacing the lifts. It is now clear that no further renovation will take place. As of 1 May the SSHW will sign no new contracts for the building. The current tenants will have until March 2006 to move. They can look for a new room through the SSHW and will receive 450 euros compensation for moving. International students receive only 100 euros as they are in furnished accommodation and therefore have less to move.

The SSHW is forced to demolish the apartment block as the demand for student rooms is declining, according to the director, Hans van Medenbach. ‘At present five hundred rooms are empty, and we expect this to go up to six or seven hundred next year. The new predictions are that the number of new Dutch students will remain the same, but the total will go down, as the number of leavers will increase. The number of international students is likely to go up slightly, but the balance will be fewer students.’ He also expects that the arrival of Van Hall Larenstein students will be slower than previously expected.

The demolition of Rijnsteeg will reduce the total of 4500 SSHW rooms currently available by 650. The plans to build 89 apartments in three different complexes will continue however. These consist primarily of three-room apartments intended for PhD researchers and visiting researchers to the university. It will also be possible to the rent apartments as separate rooms after simple adjustments. The SSHW hopes building will start soon, and that the apartments are ready before September 2006.
/ JH

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