UManresa lays the foundation stone of the new building for education activities and services
Last Friday, UManresa - Bages University Foundation performed the symbolic act of laying the first stone of the FUB4 - Education building. All the activities and services related to the institution's educational activities will take place in this new building from the 2022-2023 academic year onwards. It aims to become a forum for meetings, exchange and development among the education community of Central Catalonia. The event was attended by the Mayor of Manresa and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Bages University Foundation, Marc Aloy i Guàrdia, the Rector of UVic-UCC, Josep Eladi Baños Díez, the General Manager of the Bages Foundation University, Valentí Martínez Espinosa, and the new building's architect, Manel Parés Toll. In addition to being the home of all the institution's educational activities, the new building will house a nursery linked to the advanced vocational training cycle in Pre-School Teaching and the EHEA degree in Pre-School Teaching.
In his remarks, the general manager of UManresa-FUB Valentí Martínez, explained that this will be the university's fifth building - a building "which will be unique in terms of both its architectural approach, and because it will raise the profile of all the university's activities in the sphere of education." Martinez added that this will be a service that will be available to the entire educational community. The architect of the project, Manel Parès, explained that the building "will complete the façade of the campus on Avinguda Universitària, which now consists of the main building, the University Clinic and the University hall of residence." The rector of UVic-UCC, Josep-Eladi Baños, framed the event within a "chain of good news for the university" (good registration figures and inclusion in The World University Ranking 2022). Baños said that this new project will help make UVic-UCC "a benchmark in the field of educational research". Finally, the Mayor and President of the Board of Trustees of the Bages University Foundation, Marc Aloy, emphasised that the university project is a project that has grown thanks to all those who have believed in the city's potential as a university town, and he highlighted the commitment to innovative education that has been made at the Manresa campus.
The University's fifth building
The FUB4 - Education building will be the university's fifth, and is in addition to the existing buildings: the FUB1, FUB2 and FUB3 buildings and the University Clinic. The new building aims to meet the university institution's forecasted growth in the coming years. The number of bachelor's degree students has increased by 24% in the last five years, and the increase in lifelong learning students is 180%. This period has also seen the consolidation of the Lab 0-6 as an educational service for the dissemination of scientific research on early childhood, with an average of 13,000 children taking part in its activities every year. The third year of work at the Innovation (CIFE) at UManresa begins this September. Its activities have involved more than 900 teachers in various stages of the education system during its first two years of existence. The new building is located between the University Clinic and the student hall of residence.
A unique building for education
The building will accommodate the areas linked to teaching, including those related to the EHEA Degree in Pre-School Teaching and the advanced level specific vocational training cycle in Pre-School Teaching, the master's and postgraduate courses in the pedagogical field, and the areas linked to educational research and innovation. All the educational services aimed at teachers and schools and the general public will also be located in the building. The facilities of Lab 0-6, the centre for promoting science education at early ages, which is currently in FUB2, and the Centre for Innovation and Educational Training (CIFE), focusing on lifelong learning for teachers at all stages of education, will move to the building. The main new feature in the new building will be a nursery school linked to the studies of both specialist in Early Childhood Education and the EHEA Degree in Pre-School Teaching, which will be open to the city and will accommodate children aged up to 3 years old. All these specific characteristics have been taken into account by the architect Manel Parés in his design of the building and the spaces and services that the building will have to accommodate.
The new building will have a ground floor and two upper floors, and is being developed using the modular construction system, which is being undertaken by the Bages company Compact Habit. The building has an area of 2,300 square metres, and will be located in the space currently occupied by the car park of the University Clinic. The construction involves an investment of €3.95 million, which the university is covering with a bank loan and a contribution of its own funds. The new building is scheduled to become operational in September 2022.
Specialisation of the FUB buildings
The building is part of the university's strategy to grow and concentrate the activities in the areas of Business and Education so that they have a distinct profile on the university campus, as is already the case with courses in the Health Sciences. The aim is to increase the number of students in the field of social sciences, on both existing studies and new courses, and to create new services that make university knowledge more permeable within the city and in society as a whole. In addition to the construction of the FUB 4 Education building, activities related to the business world will also take place in the current FUB2 building, which is currently the home of the Professional Campus, Lab 0-6 and the university's Department of Communication and Marketing.
An integrated campus covering 25,500 square metres
With the construction of the new building, UManresa - Bages University Foundation reaffirms its commitment to compact and integrated growth in the university area to the north of the city of Manresa. The university campus consisting of the five UManresa buildings currently occupies an area of 25,552 square meters, located in the area around the Avenida Universitaria. The UManresa facilities have been in this area since 2002, when the first building, the FUB1, was located there.
The construction of the building is being undertaken by the Bages company Constructora d’Aro, a company with a long history in the sector. The construction is taking place through its Compact Habit division, which has developed an innovative construction system based on the industrialised construction of buildings involving stackable three-dimensional modules. The modules that will make up the new building are currently being built at the Compact Habit facilities in Cardona.