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New Campus : Bonn University demolishes old teacher training college

New Campus : Bonn University demolishes old teacher training college

The building of the former teacher training college in Bonn has been empty for years. The university now wants to erect interim buildings in its place and a new campus is to be built.

The building that housed the former Teacher Training College (Pädagogische Hochschule) on Römerstraße has been empty for ten years. Only a few rooms in the building that was contaminated with the construction chemical PCB were in use until recently. The canteen has also long since been closed and now only serves as a storage room. However, now plans are being made about what should happen to the college. In its place, the university wants to construct interim buildings in a modular design, which will serve as an alternative site during the core renovation of the university main building in the city centre.

Peter Kox, SPD politician and managing director of the tenants' association, received this information from Bonn University chancellor Holger Gottschalk. Kox had asked the university whether part of the college area could be used for a district meeting and the Chancellor had to turn him down, stating "the university site on Römerstraße will be of particular importance for the future development of the university and thus also for the Castell district. The university has decided to use this location as an interim and development site, in order to create a campus there that takes into account the dynamic development of the university and will significantly enhance the urban development of the district".

Kox can live with the rejection and he told the GA "of course, I'm glad that something is finally happening". However, he expects that student housing and neighbourhood-related benefits, for example as a meeting place, will also be taken into account. This is probably also very much in the spirit of the university. "When developing the area, it is important for the university to increase the quality of use, with the potential for meeting and exchange, but also with sports facilities or a canteen/café," Gottschalk continued. Such considerations should also make the campus on Römerstraße attractive and open the university to the public.

Demolition work to begin in 2021

"The University of Bonn plans to create alternative areas for the renovation of the main building on the campus in Bonn-Castell in close cooperation with the Bau- und Liegenschaftsbetrieb NRW. For this purpose, modular buildings are to be erected on the site, which will accommodate the main building, faculties and institutes currently using the building, as well as parts of the administration during the renovation period," explained university spokesman Andreas Archut.

The responsibility for project planning and implementation lies with the Bau- und Liegenschaftsbetrieb (BLB) NRW. "According to current planning, the main university building will be completely renovated from the ground up in a long-term process and should remain an integrated meeting and exchange locus for all university members across subject boundaries in the future," Archut continued.

Work on demolishing the existing buildings is to begin as early as 2021, with the exception of the old building and the sports halls, said Silke Schenk of the BLB. "This demolition work is very costly, partly because contaminated building components have to be removed and disposed of professionally". Therefore, no reliable statements can be made at present about the duration of the work. A total usable area of around 25,000 square metres is to be created. The BLB is also unable to provide any information concerning the costs at present.

(Original text, Lisa Inhoffen; translation John Chandler)