Construction of student halls of residence in Pallada to not go ahead due to archaeological finds
CORFU. New student halls of residence with 35 beds will start operating in a year in a building of the "Petrideio Klirodotima" in the Old Town.
The signing of the programmatic agreement between the Ionian University and "Petrideio Klirodotima" that provides for the long-term lease of a 508 sq.m. property for the accommodation of students was a positive development in addressing the serious housing issue in Corfu.
In fact, this development comes at a particularly critical time for the Ionian University, as the planning for the construction of new student halls of residence in "Pallada" will not go ahead due to the archaeological finds found on the land in question. Similar findings were also found on the adjacent plot, where the new building for the Music Department is planned to be constructed.
As the Ionian University Dean Andreas Floros told Enimerosi, the housing issue has been brought to the attention of the Ministry of Culture. As far as the project of the construction of new student halls of residence is concerned, a new meeting has been planned between the person who carried out the study for the University and officials of the Ministry of Culture, so that opinions can be submitted and the issue can be introduced for approval to the Central Archaeological Council. However, if a change to the original study is required, this means that the project will be delayed even further.
280 beds are not enough
Meanwhile the 280 beds (a number that covers only 9% of the active student population in Corfu, i.e. 4,000 students) offered by the Ionian University's student halls of residence along with the rentals seem like a drop in the ocean in front of this burning issue. Combined with the quick spread of short-term rental accommodation in Corfu Town, the lack of accommodation for students is becoming the number one issue for the academic institution.
In a property in the Old Town
The cooperation between the two institutions is an important step in addressing the housing problem of students.
The months-long efforts on the part of the University's administration and the Management Committee of the "Petrideio Klirodotima" had positive results and the historic property located at Petridou 9 St. will be turned into student halls of residence, with the aim of directly meeting part of the housing needs of the ever-increasing student population of the university.
The contract provides for the long-term lease of the four-storey building for a period of 30 years, as well as the adaptation of the building to the needs of the university, in order for it to be appropriately designed for its intended use.
The annual rent will be €15,000, while the Ionian University has already secured funding for the remaining works.
According to the Dean Andreas Floros, the condition of the building is very good, as in the last decade the Board of the Management Committee has carried out serious restoration and fixing work, so that today it can be leased and completed by the Ionian University.
In one year from now
As the Dean told Enimerosi, according to the programmatic contract the building should be ready for use in one year from now, in order to house students of the university based on the provided criteria. It is estimated that 35 beds can be created in this space, while it is also possible that some rooms could be converted into double rooms to accommodate more students.
"The purposes of the two institutions are entirely related and have to do with the education and training of young people, and the opportunity is given to "Klirodotima" to preserve the historic building it manages, and to the University to house part of its structures within the town's centre in the near future", said Mr. Floros.
As he said, this can be considered another result of the Ionian University's systematic efforts, which have been made over the last three years in order to make an absolutely necessary and urgent discussion with the local community on the great and critical needs regarding student accommodation and we hope that others will do the same in the local communities of the Ionian Islands.
The contract was signed, following the final approval of the Decentralised Administration. According to the President of the Management Committee of "Petrideio Klirodotima" Archbishop Nektarios, the long-term lease of the property by the Ionian University is considered the best option, because it is in line with and relevant to the education-friendly purposes set by the testator, Platon Petridis.
"Moreover, with any income "Klirodotima" will have, it will be able to accomplish its purposes such as the granting of scholarships and other related actions. In the end, we believe that this agreement on the one hand supports the institution of the Ionian University and on the other hand enables "Petrideio Klirodotima" to become active again for the benefit of our local society and our young people", said the Archbishop.
Photo: Ionian University / The property that will serve as student halls of residence