University of Oulu starts project planning to build a new campus in Raksila in Oulu city centre
In its meeting on 28 April, the Board of Directors of the University of Oulu heard the results of the property strategy analysis and made a decision to start project planning to build a 1st stage of a new campus in Raksila in Oulu city centre. The floor area of the plan is approximately 30 000 square meters at this point and the project planning is estimated to take approximately one year. The university will propose a change in the local plan for the Raksila area to the City of Oulu.
The goal set for the analysis launched by the Board of Directors in November 2019 was to find financially sustainable, long-term university property solutions that support the university’s operations. In the comparison of campus options, the feasible options turned out to be maintenance of the Linnanmaa building stock and new construction in Oulu city centre.
The cost analyses of the campus options consisted of independent calculations prepared by construction management consultants A-insinöörit Oy and WSP Finland Oy as well as a comparison with the realised costs of the new campus of Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, which was completed in Myllypuro, Helsinki in 2019. The result of the analysis was that new construction in the city centre can achieve a solution with neutral investment costs compared to maintenance of the Linnanmaa campus. According to the calculations, the rent level of the city centre campus will be lower than the Linnanmaa cost forecasts drawn up based on the rental impact of the realised renovations.
“Based on the comparisons made, the best solution for the future of the university’s operations and goals turned out to be the construction of a new campus in Oulu city centre. Starting the project planning is a significant opening move and development opportunity for the university and the entire Oulu Region. During the project planning, the University Board will get acquainted with the various factors that may affect the matter and decide on further measures,” says Sakari Kallo, Chairperson of the University Board of Directors.
Raksila in the immediate vicinity of Oulu city centre was selected as the planning area of the city centre option. Situated next to the railway station and bus station, Raksila has ideal public transport connections and is located approximately 1.5 km from the university’s Kontinkangas medical campus and the university hospital. The student housing of PSOAS Välkkylä is also located in Raksila.
Architect Rainer Mahlamäki, who worked as a professor at the University of Oulu, created a plan interpretation of how the university campus might fit into the so-called market district in Raksila. According to preliminary plans, the planning area has enough room for the buildings and the Raksila area has room for possible future expansions.
“The Linnanmaa campus has served, and will continue to serve, the University of Oulu well. Due to changes in population projections and expectations towards the university, a central location would be a better option for the future. Since it turned out that a new campus in the city centre would not have higher investment costs than the renovation of the Linnanmaa campus, we now start planning of the new Raksila campus. We will get to design in Oulu a campus of the future, which will be attractive and accessible, have a more sustainable carbon footprint and function as a space for increasingly multilocal encounters for study and work. In addition to achieving these goals, based on the analysis, it also seems that our rental costs will decrease,” says Jouko Niinimäki, Rector of the University of Oulu.
The first text chapter has been specified 6th May, 2020 to be in accordance with the minutes of the University Board of Directors.
Photo: Ville Honkonen