We need to 'take a deep breath' until the framework for the project falls into place, explains Pro-Rector Frandsen.
The senior management team has decided to call time out on the AU Arts and Business Building construction project at the intersection of Nordre Ringgade and Nørrebrogade. The decision has been made because a number of issues in relation to external partners must be clarified before the project can continue.
Pro-Rector Søren E. Frandsen explains that among other issues, it is necessary to finalise the price of the A&B lot and clarify the financing model for the project as a whole. How the building fits into the university's plans to take over the former Aarhus Municipal Hospital property must also be clarified.
- As we put it, "We're taking a break from the construction project in order to catch our breath," and the AU Board expressed their agreement on 29 February. Our side of the project is in place, but we need to clarify a number of the kind of formal procedures which this kind of large project naturally has. We are working with the Ministry of Higher Education, the Danish University and Property Agency and Central Denmark Region on this, explains Pro-Rector Frandsen.
Even though this may mean delays in the schedule for the construction process, according to Pro-Rector Frandsen, the postponement is necessary in order to ensure that the appropriate framework for the project is in place. And once the framework is in place, the Board will be able to review the project again and initiate the planned international architecture competition without delay.
- Even though there is some uncertainty about Danish universities' financial position in the wake of the financial crisis and after the special globalisation grant runs out at the end of this year, there is no doubt about the reality of Aarhus University's capacity problems and our desire to create the best possible conditions for our research and educational activities. But the framework conditions for the university's future construction activities do need to be in order, and naturally, we can’t launch such a major construction project when these fundamental conditions aren't in place, Pro-Rector Frandsen explains.
- However, it's important to emphasise that none of the work we have done has been wasted. We're ready to put the ball back in play again just as soon as the formalities are in place, and we're working to get them in place as quickly as possible, says Pro-Rector Frandsen.