The rehabilitation of the street will accompany the construction of the new university residence, in Guimarães.
At the last meeting of the Guimarães executive, it became known that the State will cede the facilities of the former Santa Luzia School to the Municipality, so that a university residence can be installed there, for students of the University of Minho.
On the sidelines of the meeting, the mayor, Domingos Bragança, informed journalists that the renovation works on Francisco de Agra Street, where the former Santa Luzia School is located, should accompany the installation of the university residence.
The rector of the University of Minho (UMinho), Rui Vieira de Castro, had referred to the delay in this process, during the commemorations of the 48th anniversary of the Minho academy, marked at Teatro Jordão, on 17 February. At the time, the dean recalled that the application for funds from the Recovery and Resilience Plan (PRR) had to be delivered by February 28.
Domingos Bragança confessed that the Guimarães City Council intended to own the building, “still the transfer is sufficient”. The agreement with the State provides that the Municipality will manage the building for a period of 50 years. The Chamber must, through a loan agreement, assign the use of the former school’s facilities to the University of Minho, in order to install a university residence there, with a capacity for 350 beds. The mayor from Guimarães also expressed his desire to link the renovation works on Francisco de Agra Street with those of the university residence so “we don’t have to be doing and undoing”.
The planned investment for the rehabilitation and adaptation of the building is around six million euros (plus VAT), which UMinho will finance with its own resources and PRR funds. It is expected that the works will take place between 2022 and 2025 and that the period of operation of the residence will extend until 2072.
At the same time, UMinho seeks to solve the problem of the lack of affordable accommodation for students, with the creation, in Braga, in the premises of the former Fábrica Confiança, of another university residence, this one with a capacity of 750 beds.
Avepark can also have residency
To serve the students of the Instituto Politécnico do Cávado and Ave, Domingos Bragança said that a university residence could be created at Avepark, in Barco, where the Polytechnic has a hub. This facility should have around 160 beds and could also serve the Instituto Cidade de Guimarães. Domingos Bragança, however, argues that the solution for housing higher education students involves creating more private facilities and anticipates that “800 to 1,000 beds will be needed for students in Guimarães”.
The presentation of these new student accommodation follows the announcement by the Government of the creation of another 15 thousand beds for students, at regulated prices, until 2026, in an investment budgeted at 375 million euros and financed by the PRR.