"A good education assures the future of upcoming generations and enhances the
economic potential of Baden-Württemberg. Accordingly, one of the major political concerns of the state government is to support research and teaching. This is borne out by the substantial amounts invested in the ongoing development of institutions of higher education. This sector has a central place in the state government's programme for the future. In 2000 alone, Baden-Württemberg spent a total of 5.4 billion marks on this sector and can thus claim leader status both in Germany and internationally." Thus Baden-Württemberg's finance minister Gerhard Stratthaus at the topping-out ceremony for the new physics building at Heidelberg University's Neuenheimer Feld campus on 18 May 2001.
He went on to say that the new building named after physicist Robert Kirchhoff would greatly improve conditions for physics research in Heidelberg. With the first stage of construction now complete, the end was in sight for the scattering of the physics institutes and the shortcomings in the facilities and equipment at their disposal. The new building is planned for final completion in summer 2002. In spatial terms, research and teaching will then be optimally integrated. The new siting, Stratthaus said, represents ideal conditions for a fruitful co-existence between basic research and applied research under one roof. The integration of the institute in the Neuenheimer Feld campus would bring substantial logistic advantages and synergistic effects.
As the finance minister noted, the new building provides 7,300 square metres of usable space, housing laboratories, offices, seminar rooms and lecture halls. An experimental unit and various workshops round off the teaching and research facilities the new centre has to offer. The building costs alone run to 65 million marks. In accordance with the agreement between the Federal Government and the federal states on the ongoing development of higher education, the Federal Government contributes half of the building costs. The other half is financed by the Zukunftsoffensive Junge Generation scheme, Stratthaus said. A further 10 million marks will be required to equip the new building. The building is being constructed on the basis of plans submitted to a competition for the assignment by architects Broghammer, Jena and Wohlleber (Waldkirch). Project development and supervision lies with the University Construction Office.
Stratthaus emphasised that Heidelberg was an especially eloquent example of the huge investments undertaken by the Baden-Württemberg government in the higher education sector. This year alone, financial aid to the tune of 168 million marks had gone into projects for the University, the Hospital Complex and the Education College. The topping-out ceremony for Heidelberg's new Internal Medicine Hospital in August will be a very special event in this connection, he said. The total construction bill for this project is in the vicinity of 250 million marks. "The University of Heidelberg is a decisive factor in the status of Baden-Württemberg as a centre of education and research. With its 15 Faculties and over 150 courses of study it is doing sterling work for the state and rightly enjoys an excellent reputation in Germany and abroad," finance minister Stratthaus concluded.
Please address any inquiries to:
Finance Ministry, Baden-Württemberg
Dr. Michael Schwarz
Press Officer of the University of Heidelberg
phone: 06221/542310, fax: 54317