Organisation - October 20, 2010

The sorrows of Lelystad

Plans for new building in Lelystad have been scrapped. The employees in Lelystad are disappointed with this decision.

Staff would have to stay put in the old buildings on the Edelhertweg and Houtribweg roads
Last week, the Animal Sciences Group celebrated the fact that the highest point had been reached in its new accommodation on Wageningen Campus.
The directors, building contractors and occupants drank champagne while staff were taken on tours of the building under renovation. This makes the news for the ASG staff in Lelystad particularly bitter. They heard just before the summer holidays that there would be no new building in Lelystad after all.
The plan was for the employees of the Central Veterinary Institute and Wageningen UR Livestock Research to be housed together on the Houtribweg road. The architect's drawings for the new building were ready but then the Executive Board said that staff would have to stay put in the old buildings on the Edelhertweg and Houtribweg roads. Neither does Wageningen UR intend renovating those buildings, even though they are more than thirty years' old.
This news came on top of the decision earlier this year to close the experimental dairy farm (Waiboerhoeve) and poultry farm (Spelderholt) in Lelystad. All this means many employees feel they have been left in the lurch. 'Wageningen is full of impressive WUR buildings but here no investments are being made in anything or anyone', says an - anonymous - member of staff.
Financial boost for research
Dick Pouwels, the ASG director of operations, thinks the decision not to put up any new buildings is 'perfectly logical from the corporate point of view', but he also understands the reaction in Lelystad. 'The decision has given rise to a negative feeling among staff there. We have discussed this with the Executive Board. This resulted in the decision to give research in Lelystad a financial boost. So while we are not investing in bricks and mortar, we will be investing in research.' Pouwels says the intention is for the details of this agreement to be worked out in the form of tangible research investments by the start of November.
The ASG directors expect 'appropriate compensation' from Wageningen. After all, the Group is already having to deal with rising accommodation costs. Pouwels also has a number of improvements to the Edelhertweg location on his wish list, which should make these premises more of an inspiring place for the staff to work.

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