Property strategy analysis begins
In its meeting on 20 November 2019, the Board of Directors of the University of Oulu authorised Rector Jouko Niinimäki to begin a property strategy analysis. The goal of the analysis is to find financially sustainable, long-term university property solutions that support the university’s operations. The analysis will evaluate the financial, functional and social impacts of the different alternatives:
- maintenance of the current building stock
- partial demolition of the current building stock and new construction on university campuses
- new construction near the centre of Oulu.
The analysis is based on calculations of the property costs of the university campuses in the coming years. Based on the preliminary calculations and the impact on rent of the renovations completed so far, the constant renovation needs of the Linnanmaa Campus, which was largely built in the 1970s, will further increase the already significant rent level of the properties. Property costs are the university’s second largest expense item after personnel costs. The premises of the University of Oulu in Linnanmaa and Kontinkangas are owned by University Properties of Finland Ltd.
“The property strategy analysis and especially the possibility of changing the university’s location have sparked a lot of discussion. This is a good thing because the decision will affect many and will require extensive cooperation in Oulu. From the viewpoint of property use, it is not unusual that sometimes it makes better sense to build new than to fix old buildings. One example of this is the Oulu University Hospital, the buildings of which are the same age as most of the university’s facilities, and which are now being replaced with a new hospital,” says Risto Murto, Chairman of the University Board of Directors.
“If the university’s property strategy were to focus on new construction, the timespan of construction and possible transfer of operations would be the following 20 years,” Murto continues.
The property strategy analysis is estimated to be completed by May 2020.