Ben-Gurion University to expand northern campus

Additional 57-acre tract of land will double the size of the university, and new dormitories will add 1,000 beds for students.

January 8, 2013 04:22
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Ben Gurion UNiversity 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev signed an agreement with the Israel Lands Administration on Sunday to expand and build a new northern campus within the next four years.

The additional 57-acre tract of land will double the size of the university, and new dormitories will add 1,000 beds for students and the possibility of expanding to 2,500 beds.

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The northern campus will be located across the train tracks from the main university campus in the direction of the Ramot neighborhood, adjacent to the Marcus Family Campus in Beersheba.

The signing between BGU and ILA took place in the presence of Construction and Housing Minister Ariel Attias, ILA director-general Benzi Lieberman and university vice president and director- general David Bareket.

The agreement comes as part of a government directive to provide 10,000 more beds for students. The land that will be used for dormitory space was given to the university for free. The other parts of the north campus will be leased.

Attias explained on Sunday that the finalization of the contract represents the end of a long struggle.

“There was a long debate as to whether the land should be used for the profits it could reap or to benefit the citizens of Israel. The land must be used for citizens,” he said.

“Even though we are building in the center of the country, I came to the periphery because I feel more connected to it,” Atias, whose grandparents lived in the Daled neighborhood of Beersheba, continued.

BGU president Rivka Carmi also addressed the initiative.

“This is a historic step which will shape the character and identity of the university in the next 50 years,” she said.

Lieberman of the ILA noted that he sees the project as a five-year window of opportunity to bring more students and their families, as well as more IDF personnel and their families, to the South.

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