On Monday, the University of Silesia, in cooperation with other City universities and the City Hall of Katowice, presented plans for the creation of new academic district, so called UniverCity. The whole space would be created in the area of Pawła, Wodna and Górnicza streets, situated in the City center between the „Rawa” river and Warszawska St.
Wiesław Banyś, rector of the University of Silesia, explained general assumptions of the idea: „I am sure that our efforts to build the new academic district will positively affect Katowice and will cause long-lasting changes of social, educational, demographic, environmental and economic conditions of the region. We want to improve the image of the agglomeration and become more creative, modern and sustainable post-industrial city”.
The area designed for the project is located in the City center and needs an immediate implementation of revitalization activities. „We have been preparing for the project for a very long time. The City Hall already purchased several parcels of land needed to execute the undertaking. Also, about 20 buildings in the area were already demolished and approximately 500 people were displaced” – said Piotr Uszok, Katowice mayor.
„Katowice has been transforming from an industrial City and the new academic district is a next step of the transformation. We have to remember that more people is hired at universities than in coal mines nowadays, and they need a suitable infrastructure” – commented Stanisław Podkański, city architect of Katowice.
The general concept design of the district will be prepared by two independent groups of students and two groups of proffesional architects. Their proposals will be judged and the winning project will be announced in June. The chosen team will prepare a final architectural concept of the district.
By now, several new buildings are planned in the area. The list include the new seat of University of Silesia’s Radio and Television Faculty – „WRiTV” (PLN 35 million, co-financed from the national budget), Center for Biotechnology and Biodiversity (PLN 120 million, partially covered by EU funds), two students dormitories (PLN 130 million, public-private partnership), new seat of the Philology Faculty (PLN 65 million, public-private partnership) and a multifunctional sport hall (PLN 30 million, public-private partnership). A total cost of the investment would amount to approximately PLN 400 million.
The first new building of the district – WRiTV – will be opened in two years (construction work is set to be launched this year). The remaining facilities are scheduled for delivery by 2018.
Within the project, the University of Silesia and the City Hall of Katowice cooperate with the University of Economics in Katowice, the Academy of Fine Arts and the Academy of Music in Katowice.