The international school will be situated in the meadow at the Cambridgelaan. Photo DUB.

International school coming to De Uithof

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In the next four years, a new building for the International School Utrecht (ISU) will be built in De Uithof. The building will be situated at the start of the Cambridgelaan.

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The city of Utrecht has long been struggling with the question of where to house the school for international education. The ISU is currently at the Van Bijnkershoeklaan in Kanaleneiland, but has outgrown that location. The school currently has around 1200 pupils in both elementary and high school.

Last year, De Uithof came into the picture (nl) as a possible location for the school. Specifically, the meadow at the corner of the Cambridgelaan and the Helsinkilaan, near the RIVM building that’s currently being built. The idea is that the international school and the increasingly international university campus will strengthen each other.

Seven years ago, the UU was also involved (nl) in the start of the international school in Utrecht. The school was originally situated in a building at the Notebomenlaan, but quickly grew to be too large to fit there. Now, the second location has also proved to be too small.

The city announced on Tuesday (nl) that a feasibility study on relocating to De Uithof has ended in a positive result. An important concern at the moment is De Uithof’s busy traffic situation. Only recently, institutions and companies in De Uithof sent a letter to the city board, sounding the alarm (nl)  about the poor accessibility of the Utrecht Science Park.

Several academic codetermination boards also expressed concerns about the relocation of the ISU. People fear many parents will take their children to school and pick them up by car, which means they’ll be driving to De Uithof at the exact times of day that the traffic’s already at its worst.

One important condition for the ISU’s definitive relocation is that the school take measures to reduce the use of cars by parents and staff alike. To do this, the school will have to set up a mobility plan. Examples given in a letter sent to the city council (nl) include starting bike education programs, and stimulating the use of e-bikes. Adapting the class schedule is also one of the options. The mobility plan will have to be set up before a new development plan is made for the location at the Cambridgelaan.

In the letter, the city board states they’re also working on improved access to De Uithof. Direct cause is the motion about ‘sardine traffic’ (nl), in which several political parties requested measures to be taken, after it was announced that the Uithoflijn tram will be delayed further.

The plan is for construction of the new school to start in 2020. The pupils would then be able to start their education in De Uithof midway through 2022.

Translation: Indra Spronk

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