Student boards must move out of Pnyx again

Student boards possibly moving to 'Primera building' at USP

Pnyx op het Princetonplein, foto DUB

It has already been three years since 'Pnyx' moved from the city center to the Utrecht Science Park. In the building, around thirty boards of various student organizations affiliated with Utrecht University have their offices. In September 2020, the boards moved from Achter Sint Pieter 25 to Princetonplein, situated amidst the buildings of Beta and Earth Sciences. The old city center building is slated for demolition, making way for a new educational facility for the downtown faculties.

The boards were aware that they were only allowed to stay three years in the new Pnyx. Last academic year, the university surveyed all organizations to understand their needs. In September, the UU informed them that they would be seeking alternative locations for this academic year. "We also mentioned that it might not be possible to house all boards together in another building." Says, Lennart van Wageningen from the Directorate of Students, Education, & Research, who is working together with Real Estate & Campus, to search for new locations.  

The UU has divided the boards into three clusters based on their activities: sports, service-oriented, and social & events. Each cluster has its unique characteristics and activities that, according to Van Wageningen, require specific facilities and a particular place on the campus. For instance, consideration is being given to whether sports boards can eventually find a place in or near sports center Olympos, and for service-oriented organizations like Integrand, which facilitates internships, they are looking at the location where Primera was. For the boards in the third cluster, the UU has not yet identified a concrete location. 

"We offered the Primera space for rent at the end of July because the university initially sought a new commercial tenant for the retail space," says Jan-Willem Moerkerk of Real Estate & Campus. The university preferred a bookstore with a Post NL parcel service to occupy the space. "Initially, there was no interest from suitable parties, so we started looking for alternatives. Housing student organizations from the service-oriented cluster of Pnyx in that space seems to be a win-win situation. This is because the presence of these organizations enhances the vibrancy of the campus, which is something the university aims for."