MAASTRICHT CAMPUS STOP

[BIZ/EDU: Maastricht, November 11]
The construction of the Maastricht University campus following the design of the Spanish architect, Santiago Calatrava, has been cancelled. The board and the supervisory board of the Servatius housing and construction organization and an external supervisor have decided that there is no other solution and have, as of November 11, decided to end all construction activity on the Calatrava campus.

The campus construction program began on November 22, 2008. It included a sports center, student housing, guesthouses, offices, catering facilities, and shops. The investment, at that time, was estimated at EUR 165m. On May 26, 2009, construction activities were suspended because the projected costs had risen above EUR 200m. Servatius had indicated that a rise of costs of above EUR 35m would be unacceptable and it asked for financial assistance from Maastricht University, the City of Maastricht, and the Province of Limburg.

The halt was inevitable because, after a feasibility study and an intensive period of negotiation with the city in the university, Servatius has decided that the Calatrava design is not feasible. ‘The damage has already risen to around EUR 60m, and we want to put an end to it. The project has affected the structure of the organization and we cannot allow any further financial damage, that is why we are definitely stopping with the Calatrava design,’ said Paul Driever, the chairman of the board.

Servatius wants to meet its responsibilities in social/public housing in Maastricht and Eijsden in the proper manner, and this means that this step is inevitable. ‘The interests of our tenants and the districts we are rebuilding come first.’

The results of an external examination at the end of July 2009 were extremely worrying; and, since then, Servatius has made a last attempt to save the project with partners in the city, by examining it again closely. Only with substantial contributions from the university, the city and the province and a reduction in the costs, would it have been possible to complete the Calatrava plan, and this has not been possible.

http://www.servatius.nl/