Campus - 14.09.2011 - 00:00
At the inauguration ceremony on Friday evening, Cantonal Minister of Public Works Willi Haag expressed his pleasure that one of the Canton’s biggest construction projects was now completed. “A modern infrastructure is a central factor for the attractiveness of the University of St.Gallen,” he said. On behalf of his ministry, Education Minister Stefan Kölliker expressed his thanks, particularly to St.Gallen’s population, who had granted the HSG the credit line that was urgently needed for additional premises: “This high regard of our population for the HSG must be preserved and cultivated.”
The President of the University of St.Gallen, Thomas Bieger, also thanked all the political decision-makers and the St.Gallen voters for their investment in the HSG as a place for thinking and research. He emphasised the necessity of a physical campus as a place of exchange in one single location: “New knowledge can only be generated by encountering and debating new ideas and views.”
New and renovated buildings
The urgent need for the renovation of the Main Building, new teaching requirements and a strong increase in the number of students in degree-course and executive education made construction work imperative. In the last five years, the University was renovated in stages: the roughly 40-year-old structures were comprehensively renovated and the existing University buildings were structurally adapted. The car park, the new restaurant and a sports hall close to the Campus on the Ölberg site were newly built. Taking into account rising prices in the construction industry, the overall building costs amounted to just under CHF 92m.
Further construction measures required
In the year when this project was subjected to the popular vote, the rooms of the University of St.Gallen could hold about 3,500 students. In fact, the HSG already numbered 5,000 students even then. Since that time, the number of students at the University of St.Gallen has continued to grow substantially: approx. 7,100 students are expected to be enrolled for Autumn Semester 2011. From 2020, the University expects 8,000-9,000 students.
The Office of Construction and Facilities Management has conducted a study on possible spatial extensions in cooperation with the Universities Office and the University. Since owing to the requirements imposed by timetables and costs, additional premises should be accessible with a 15-minute walk, there are only very few possibilities for spatial adaptations. The University’s possibilities of extension will be examined in detail in spring 2012.
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