New University Sports Centre
Leiden University has approved the construction of a new sports and examinations centre. The new USC will be part of the BioSciencePark entrance area and will be situated on the new, central and green campus square, in a student district with some hundred homes. The area is car-free and has many shopping and other facilities that are in close proximity to the Gorlaeus Laboratory or ‘flying saucer’. The USC underwent a renovation in 2012 that updated the facilities for a limited number of years. This refurbishment has now had its day; the current building cannot accommodate the growing number of 10,700 sports enthusiasts. Students like to make use of the wide selection of sports offered by the USC. The USC also fulfils a social role for many international students who come to play sports and socialise, mainly from Fridays through Sundays. The current fitness area is too small for all members; group lessons are overcrowded and the indoor atmosphere needs an upgrade. The sports centre is also the university’s most important examinations facility. However, due to the increased demand for both sports and examinations space, there are increasing clashes between the two. A bigger USC is also expected to be able to facilitate all examinations.
With the construction of 8,000 sq.m. of indoor sports facilities, the new building will be one and a half times bigger than it is now. The plan is to expand the fitness area, not just to accommodate students, but also to offer sporting enthusiasts at the companies on the BioSciencePark more opportunities to play sports. There will be a large gym that meets modern standards; a smaller sports hall and of course smaller sports rooms and a yoga room to offer group lessons. These rooms will also be available for examinations. There are also plans fora climbing wall and squash courts within the building.
The construction of the building has to be organised such that it does not cause any disruption to the sports programme or the examination facilities.