Massive charges against the Lower Saxony Ministry of Science: The State Audit Office accuses the Authority of a violation of budget law. The background is the cost explosion at the extension of the Leuphana University in Lüneburg.
The architectonic jewel cost a good 109 million euros that the Leuphana was built as a central building - by none other than star architect Daniel Libeskind. The construction was thus almost twice as expensive as originally estimated. The building was opened in 2017.
At the beginning of the planning, the university and the ministry of science were still spending 57 million euros on construction costs. They quickly adjusted the value to 72.3 million euros, and in December 2016 to 87.2 million - and that too, as the present one shows Final bill, not enough.
Leuphana / DPA
This is how the Libeskind Building in Lüneburg looked like in a first computer simulation more than ten years ago
After the bills have been "internally reviewed and processed, it is now clear that the final construction costs are expected to be 109.3 million euros," said university spokesman Henning Zühlsdorff in a statement. The cost increases in the course of the ten-year construction phase are "attributable to the general increase in construction costs, higher building ancillary costs, the extension of construction time, measures that safeguard the deadline, or changes in the construction process that have become necessary".
According to the Court of Auditors, the additional costs must be borne by the university itself, reports the "Landeszeitung für den Lüneburger Heide". The university now had to work out a supplementary plan to compensate for the increased costs. It's about a gap of more than 20 million euros. This is to be closed by the sale of university real estate "on their own", and that "without the financing being done at the expense of research and teaching".
Despite the Court of Auditors' complaint, Henning Zühlsdorff also tried to get something positive out of the final bill. In 2014, the Oberfinanzdirektion had even assumed in an interim report of 110 million euros construction costs. Zühlsdorff: "This sum is clearly undercut".
The Leuphana was recently advised by the planned departure of her President Sascha Spoun to the University of Göttingen in the headlines. After internal quarrels in Göttingen, the Leuphana president had withdrawn his application.