The restoration of the former Feruda Hospital should start soon and be completed within 12 months. Once the works are completed, students in the humanities and natural majors will benefit from suitable premises. In the meantime, professors will be able to plan for future development
The University of Paula is looking to the future with optimism and rightly so: in just over a decade it has built a campus starting from the abandoned structures of General Hospital on San Michele Hill and is now poised to do the same, if not more. With the former Navy Hospital in Verodha. Five years have passed from idea to concrete project. By an official deed dated 2017, the district transferred to “Juraj Dobrila” the roof directly on the former hospital complex within the cadastral boundaries of the same for fifty years. From then until today, the planning of work and the distribution of available spaces between the various faculties and departments of the university continues in all its complexity.
We now move from words to deeds, from preparations to action as such. The contract was awarded to a consortium of construction companies consisting of the Serbian company Modulor Beograd and its Croatian subsidiary based in Zagreb Modulor Constructions, while the construction management was entrusted to the consortium of companies ZEM nadzor, ECO PROJEKT and ZIV-TICA. The cost of the work is 45,029,681.84 kuna (5,976,465.84 euros) excluding VAT or 56,287,102.30 kuna (7,470,582.29 euros) including value added tax, of which the European Union bears 47 ,529,125.37 kuna (€6,308,199.00) to the budget of the Ministry of Science and Education, and thus to the treasury. The tender contract stipulates that the builders will have a deadline of 12 months, that is, to hand over the construction site by the end of 2023, provided that construction begins on time, as planned, immediately after New Year’s Eve.
Full recovery in one year
Thanks to the integration of the first two phases of the project and its inclusion in the Integrated Investment Mechanism (ITU), the restoration of the structure of the old hospital will be completed within a year and will thus include 10,500 square meters of surface arranged on three levels (ground, first and second) of the old hospital, while initially Separation of work and division into two distinct phases of 4,260 sqm and 6,240 sqm. The European Multiannual Financial Framework for Recovery and Resilience 2021-2027 and the Regional Integration Mechanism allowed the Union to increase financing and thus the possibility of starting and completing a full recovery within a year. In this sense, the university covered by the city of Pula and the region has shown an enviable spirit of work, which is now being translated into tangible results.
Educational ambitions grow
Rather, who would have the right to move to the former “navy”? It is clear that all the natural sciences and part of the humanities so far in Via Ronjgov are ready for mobilization (also because the main headquarters of the Faculties of Arts, Philosophy, Education Sciences and the Academy of Music are in turn restoration). Natural sciences professors in particular have so far been successful with leases to other risky solutions. With the restoration of the old Feruda Hospital – an investment in construction by definition – the university’s educational ambitions are also growing, and it can now plan the future of its organizational structure more calmly. According to university authorities, the University of Pula is “young and rapidly expanding,” offering two or three accredited courses per year in addition to the historical courses. With the move to Veruda, the number of students could double in the long term, because growth strategies aim to “keep students in town and drain brains abroad with degree courses of equal value to foreign students who usually absorb local academic potential”. In other words, the university is fighting against a whole series of demographic phenomena that are currently unfavorable to both Istria and Croatia.
Other planned interventions
The current availability (lack of) space has been an impediment to expansion and growth policies. Just to cite one example, there are cases where three different faculties share affiliations and interests in the same building and it is not enough from the start for every one, let alone all three together. Second, recently established departments and colleges are generally housed in classrooms rented from third parties. It goes without saying that the new Veruda University Center solves all the initial problems related to space and opens the door to a new cycle of development and enhancement of the educational offer. After the restoration of the old hospital, it will in fact begin a second cycle of investments in favor of the university library, canteen and student house (since the structures currently in use are already depleted): needless to say, the former Feruda complex has enough space for this further growth cycle as well.
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