X- Files a nightmare for the campus

How a building of nine floors was unwantedly empty for one year.

It is one of the most spoken of events in the history of  Windesheim: the closing of building X. An almost disaster with all the additional emotions. From disbelieve to despair, from crisis to compliance. Luckily the nightmare seems to be ending well.

A lot of students and employees think of a temporary discomfort when the X building suddenly closes during the autumn break in 2017. The reason being a potential unsafe floors. Several buildings on other locations in the Netherlands were also closed due to unsafe floors which were constructed with a new building technique. No one is allowed in because of the investigation. Exams that have to take place after the break are first concern for Windesheim. Headlong, the search is on for alternative spaces.

Not save
Then there is the announcement that almost no one saw coming. Based on the investigation, the X building cannot be cleared as save. The ceilings and floors have to be repaired and the building has to be closed for months. Windesheim also has to take into account that the building has to remain closed far into 2018. The building is not about to collapse, as is assured, but the first day after autumn break teachers and employees from the X building are not allowed to go back to their offices in X. At a massively visited meeting the managing board explains the closing of the X building and locations where there can be worked and taught. Teachers from the X building appeared those first few weeks in all the other buildings. Desperately searching for a work or meeting spot and end up in coffee corners or study rooms which are meant for students. Luckily they are welcomed with open arms. The reactions from other colleagues from other buildings are heart-warming, they even spontaneously offer spots at their own bureaus or worktables.

The staff was allowed in small groups to go to the X building to gather their things and put them in moving boxes.

Temporary accommodation
A blessing in disguise is that Windesheim has some space left because the old D building is not demolished yet. A lot of study programs from the X building can find temporary accommodation there after a couple of weeks. Even the old studio space in D can, after some modifications, be reused by the Journalism department. After some moving around it turns out that all lesson and work spaces can be divided all over the campus. However to have some extra breathing space, Windesheim is renting per December 2017 some temporary space at the Hanzeland. The Education for professionals from the business media and law division moves over there.

Several lessons could be moved to the D building.

Late lessons
It is very busy at the student workspaces, in the cafeterias and on the parking lot. However, everyone tries to adapt to this special situation without complaining. Extra parking lots are rented at Dinoland and at the Bierton. The picnic benches from X1 are placed in different buildings as extra study spaces, the meeting rooms are made easier to find and made more accessible. There is a schedule for the second semester, in which the beginning and the end of the day will be utilized more: for the students this means that starting from January there are more early and late lessons. In the meantime there is worked on the plans to strengthen the floors. Because it involves a new problem, advise is gathered from everywhere on how to fix the situation. Windesheim still hopes that the building will be finished by the end of the summer of 2018.

In March the ceilings are opened and the plate seams are inspected. Then it becomes clear that there are other reinforcement methods needed and that the renovation activities will take longer. An unexpected setback. Opening the building after the summer won`t be an option, the building probably will be ready after the autumn break. At the moment the re-moving is scheduled. It appears that the campus can do with less space, so the departments from X will get less space than before. This way the Honours College in 2019 will also get a floor in the X building. Before the summer the definitive schedule for the renovation is published. The move will start after the autumn break. The building will be reopened in week 46, with the start of educational period 2.

Ernest Mettes

The renovation of the X building is in full gear, 60 workers are putting big anchors in the bulb ceiling of X. The anchors are drilled through the plastic bulbs that are in the floor. The bulbs are then filled with injection mortar which helps the anchors to remain secure. After ten days the anchor gets screwed shut. Then all the installations and wiring can go back in the ceiling. In the meantime floor 7 is delivered. 



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