Still deserted at the time this photograph was taken: Halle University’s newest campus. (Photo: Markus Scholz)

Steintor-Campus: All moved in

Winter semester saw classes start up on the Steintor Campus for the first time. The campus is Halle University’s fourth largest after University Square, the Francke Foundations and Weinberg Campus with its nearby hospital. The idea of concentrating all of the humanities and social sciences departments in one location has been 15 years in the making.

The campus from above:

Click here to enlarge.

Roland Östreich has a great deal of respect for the moment when classes start up on the Steintor Campus, ushering in 3,000 students in the fields of the humanities and social sciences. He has been working on site as the facility manager of the new campus since March 2015. “I am responsible for all of the buildings, but I’m also in charge of the media technology in the classrooms.” Before the start of the semester he inspected and serviced all of the technical equipment in each of the four lecture halls and in the 20 seminar rooms. Every day he pushed a wheelbarrow full of tools all over a site the size of five football pitches in order to fix the last few things and help out university staff in their 260 new offices.

Everyone has finally moved in: 350 employees from 16 different disciplines have moved to the institutional buildings with most employees working in the new white building in Emil Abderhalden Strasse. Many of the scientists used to work kilometres apart, rarely seeing colleagues from other institutes. Now they bump into each other on a daily basis: archaeologists, art historians, political scientists, Japanologists, speech scientists, Germanists, Romance scholars, sociologists, Slavists, Anglicists, philosophers, Indogermanists, historians, Classical scholars, the staff of the Institute for Oriental Studies, and psychologists. “This proximity will gradually be reflected in the structures and at communication and organisational levels,” reports Dr. Matthias Buck, who closely accompanied the project on behalf of the Faculty of Philosophy I for five years. Students will also run into their fellow students much more frequently in the future. Students who used to have to rush from a seminar in the city centre and to a seminar in Hoher Weg for example will now be able to enjoy a proper break. Distances will also become shorter for many university staff and students.

 A place where Kühn once taught using live animals

Library staff will see the biggest changes in terms of their day-to-day work. They, along with 17 different library inventories, have moved into the new and largest branch library of the University and Regional Library of Saxony-Anhalt (ULB). They now work in a building which has been called the campus’s showpiece by nearly everyone who has set foot in it. The building offers impressive architecture, modern furnishings, sophisticated technology, longer opening hours and a new catalogue system. Now you don’t have to painstakingly search for your literature in the branch libraries scattered throughout the city. The books are now located centrally on campus in a library that is open seven days a week.

 Blick in das Bibliotheks-Innere im Dezember 2014 (Foto: Markus Scholz) Inside the new library (Photo: Markus Scholz)

Inside the new library (Photo: Markus Scholz)

It’s been 15 years since people began discussing the idea of placing all of Halle University’s humanities and social science institutions at one location. The villas in which many of the institutes were located weren’t originally designed for teaching and research. The plan was to build a new, more attractive environment that could compete internationally. For a long time the Spitze, located in the city centre between Hallmarkt Square and Händel Hall, was under consideration. In 2004 a series of other possible locations were looked at, including the site at Steintor where the geo-, agricultural- and nutritional sciences were located until 2009.

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