Organisation - September 23, 2010

Soil scientists moving to Gaia after all

The Isric soil institute will be moving in with ESG on the campus. There is no longer any question of a return to Duivendaal.

The Isric staff are being given offices in the Gaia building. They will be able to move there in as little as a couple of months. The Isric museum will be housed in a new building between Gaia and Lumen. The Executive Board has promised nearly 1.8 million euros for its construction on condition that any plans for even a temporary return to Duivendaal are renounced.
On the spot
The ESG works council, which includes Isric in its remit, has agreed to that condition. 'But with mixed feelings', says chairman Kees van Diepen. 'I feel ambiguous about the whole thing - it doesn't feel like a victory. We were put on the spot by the Executive Board's offer. The Isric employees would like to return to Duivendaal but now they are making the best of a bad job.'
This settlement means the court case that was due to come before the court Enterprise Section on 23 September is being called off. It concerned the question of whether Isric could return to the Duivendaal site, which it had to leave at the end of last year due to an alleged acute fire hazard. Since then, Isric has been housed in the buffer building on campus. The museum is still at Duivendaal but is closed.
'Very pleased'
ESG director Kees Slingerland is 'very pleased' that the issue has now been resolved and Isric is coming to Gaia. He denies using money to win Isric round. 'That is a negative interpretation. It was the accommodation working group that came up with the proposal to link the museum to a new building with a shared entrance between Gaia and Lumen. The employees' council thought that was an acceptable solution.'
Slingerland says the Isric employees should be able to move to Gaia within a few weeks. The soil collection is temporarily being housed in a storage area. The new building between Gaia and Lumen will follow later. It will contain the museum, the Isric library and a shared reception area for Gaia and Lumen.

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