COLUMN. Many of the construction projects and operations management projects involving Sahlgrenska Academy will soon enter new phases. Eric Hanse, who was selected for the newly created assistant dean position for facilities and infrastructure, describes the status of the different projects in this column.
It gives me great pleasure to take on the assignment as assistant dean for facilities and infrastructure. After working with these issues over the last few years, I am familiar with them, and I like the idea of being involved as we continue to move forward with matters that are so important for our future. We now have a variety of projects involving Sahlgrenska Academy, with some of the projects now formally getting started while others are entering into new phases. My role as assistant dean is to keep track of developments so that all the parts fit together.
It’s about creating the best possible conditions
Actually, it’s wrong to talk about building projects because there are not yet any drawings, and it will be a few more years before we can put the first spade into the ground. Right now it’s about making sure that in the future we will have the best possible conditions for research, teaching and collaboration. The important thing is not what buildings we construct, but what needs we can foresee for our operations 20 years into the future, or even beyond. Ultimately, however, the projects will focus increasingly on construction, resulting in new buildings that we will occupy as tenants. The level of rent will not come as a surprise; during the first phases of the projects, we will already have a good indication of the cost level. The finances must, of course, be sustainable for us, which means we will need to adjust our plans accordingly. It’s clear that we have to be smart and take advantage of the new spaces as effectively as possible.
Naturvetenskap Life is part of the new two-faculty project that we are now forming
The project that has made most progress is Naturvetenskap Life, the building that will serve as a new home at Medicinareberget for some of the institutions at the Faculty of Science. This project is now at the end of the the program phase. In cooperation with the Faculty of Science, we are also engaged in bringing about a new two-faculty project. This means that Naturvetenskap Life and another three projects, all of which have their own project teams, will have a joint steering group with representatives from both faculties.
This project also brings together the projects that affect both faculties, which addresses how Lundberg Lab can be modernized and adapted for the future, how the move can best be organized for the research teams being forced to relocate, and the reconstruction and expansion of the animal building.
It should be possible to carry out the construction by Experimental Biomedicine in parallel with construction of Naturvetenskap Life
Regarding our animal building, the working group has just finished a pilot study focused on the university’s future requirements and needs when it comes to experimental research. The project is now shifting to a construction pilot study, which will include construction expertise. The goal is to carry out the construction by Experimental Biomedicine in parallel with construction of Naturvetenskap Life.
Once the Faculty of Science’s new building is completed, we will share all the teaching premises available at Medicinareberget, something that can also help us make more efficient use of the teaching premises. The pilot study on future teaching needs is currently being completed and one of its conclusions is that we need to increase capacity utilization. Another important conclusion is that we probably do not need many more premises for teaching, but new educational methods require different types of premises, and certain premises consequently need to be rebuilt. Akademiliv will describe this pilot study in more detail when it is completed within a few weeks. The pilot study will not transition into a subsequent phase, but instead it will serve as an important piece of the puzzle for all our projects, which are largely colored by our need for teaching premises.
Now we are getting ready for the next step
The pilot study for Sahlgrenska Life was completed in November, and the results have been discussed, particularly in Region Västra Götaland. Now we are ready for the program stage, and as recently as last Wednesday, the university and the region had a preliminary meeting. Before moving to the program stage, the next step is to nominate the core activities and operations for Sahlgrenska Life to be housed in Buildings 1, 2 and 3, which this collaborative project involves.
There still are questions about the Odontology building’s future. Among other things, the university and Swedish Dental Service are developing a more consistent picture of which activities will be included in the concept of university dental care, which is a significant factor for the future location. An inventory of the Odontology building also is being carried out to clarify what condition the building is in and whether it might be possible to renovate or expand it.
How we want research and education to be developed at Östra Sjukhuset
We now are also at the starting point for additional pilot studies. We’re going to take a comprehensive approach to research conditions and future needs using a pilot study in which the department heads, the head of Core Facilities and I will form a steering group.
Hälso-SAM has also just decided to start another pilot study on how we want research and education to be developed at Östra Sjukhuset (Eastern Hospital) and the demands this makes on the premises and infrastructure. We already have very productive researchers at Östra Sjukhuset, and now that the hospital is expanding, and actually doubling over the next 20 years, we also will have even better opportunities to conduct excellent research and teaching. The study will provide answers to how we want to take advantage of those opportunities.