No guarantee ventilation issues won’t come up again

| Michaela Nesvarova

The Sports Centre recently announced a partial closure due to insufficient ventilation. ‘Why wasn’t this known earlier?’ asked the University Council at today’s meeting with the Executive Board. According to Mirjam Bult, issues with air circulation remain in the Sports Centre, Vrijhof and on the 5th floor of Carré, but are all being resolved.

Photo by: FRANS NIKKELS

The University Council raised its concerns about delayed testing of ventilation and about the impact of closing rooms, specifically in the Sports Centre. ‘Already in spring it became clear that ventilation might play an important role,’ pointed out Dick Meijer. ‘I asked you in May whether the ventilation was being checked for exam and teaching halls. You said that things were under control. That is why I was surprised when half September it became clear that one of our large test halls cannot be used. Why that delay?’

‘There has been no delay,’ answered Bult. ‘There are several phases you have to go through when testing. We started before summer. We even designed specific solutions in buildings where mechanical ventilation isn’t available. Afterwards we did testing with smoke in places where technicians weren’t convinced the ventilation would be completely up to standards. That is how we found out that additional measures need to be taken in Sports Centre, Vrijhof and on the 5th floor of Carré. On those place, ventilation is being adjusted to make sure it can be used again.’

If it comes to physical exams scheduled in the Sport Centre’s halls, solutions have already been found, informed Bult. ‘We didn’t move tests online. Exams in smaller groups were rescheduled or moved elsewhere. One more solution that we used was to hold a test in the Grolsch Veste. An exam took place there last week.’

It is not yet clear when the adjustments to the ventilation will be complete, but the issues should be resolved in ‘short term’, assured Bult. ‘We performed all practical testing now, but we can’t guarantee that ventilation issues won’t come up again in the coming year. In any case, we will keep a close eye on it. If ventilation is not okay, we will find another solution.’