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05/05/2023 | Pressemitteilung

More building autonomy for the University of Kassel

The University of Kassel will be given more autonomy in building matters from 2023. A contract to this effect has now been signed between the university management and the HMWK. It is initially valid for five years and covers university construction projects with estimated construction costs of up to 10 million euros.

The photos show the historic buildings K19 and K10 on the campus Holländischer Platz, which are to be rebuilt by the University of Kassel.Image: University of Kassel
Planned: Conversion and renovation of the historic buildings K19 and K10 on the Holländischer Platz campus under the auspices of the University of Kassel (Photos: Uni Kassel)

Now that the Hessian Ministry of Science and the Arts (HMWK) has transferred responsibility for its own construction matters to the University of Kassel, these can now be carried out directly on behalf of the university. The Landesbetrieb Bau und Immobilien Hessen (LBIH) is thus no longer directly involved and the University of Kassel takes over the previous role of the LBIH as public building owner in these cases. Dr. Oliver Fromm, Chancellor of the University of Kassel, is pleased with the autonomy gained in construction projects: "In the future, this will allow us to even better incorporate the needs of our users in the planning and implementation of construction projects. And the significantly streamlined planning processes will foreseeably lead to shorter project durations."

"I am pleased that with partial construction autonomy, the University of Kassel can now tackle construction projects on its own under certain conditions," said Science Minister Angela Dorn. "We have anchored the foundations for this proven division of labor between the state and the university in the Hessian Higher Education Act. The option of partial building autonomy is already being used by some universities - and helps them continue to fulfill their important role as the heart of the knowledge society, even better in a changing world."

For the University of Kassel, this role is not entirely new: In recent years, the university has already been allowed to implement individual construction projects independently of the LBIH. 

For example, the four lecture halls in the AVZ (Oberzwehren) were renovated in 2017 and 2018, as was the machine hall of the IT service center at the Holländischer Platz campus (commissioning in 2019). Construction projects successfully carried out in-house include the conversion of the listed building complex of the former Gottschalk textile factory into the student house on the Holländischer Platz (HoPla) campus, as well as the construction of the new exhibition hall for the art academy. The student house was put into operation in 2019, the new exhibition hall in May 2022. Thus, the department of construction, technology, real estate of the university administration had proven its efficiency in the realization of construction projects.

In the coming years, the University of Kassel will now be able to independently tackle further projects whose cost volume does not exceed 10 million euros. Apart from the construction of a new multi-storey parking lot on the North Campus, these are mainly major conversion and renovation measures. For example, Villa Rühl near the HoPla campus, which is in serious need of renovation, is to be converted into the new institute building of the International Center for University Research (INCHER). The Engineering Sciences III building complex (Campus HoPla) will also be raised and thus expanded under project-related construction management by the university. The renovation and conversion of the historic K10 and K19 buildings on the HoPla campus are also planned. K10 housed the Department of Architecture, Urban Planning, Landscape Planning for several decades until it moved to the new buildings on the North Campus. The former Gottschalk building K 19 on the North Campus housed the cultural center of the AStA until it was moved to the student house. A specific subsequent use is being developed.

The IT service center and the WISO A, B, and C buildings, the student dormitories A, B, and C on the HoPla campus, and the former student dormitory on the Witzenhausen campus are also to be renovated and upgraded in terms of energy efficiency.

After five years, the measures implemented by the University of Kassel on its own initiative will be evaluated by the HMWK. A positive evaluation result is an essential prerequisite for a follow-up agreement and thus part of the application procedure for the second phase, in which the cost ceiling can be increased to 15 million euros per construction project. In this phase, a further evaluation will be carried out after ten years at the latest.


Christian Haldorn
Dept. of Construction, Technology, Real Estate
Tel.: 0561 804 2259
Mail: christian.haldorn[at]uni-kassel[dot]de