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University given green light for campus in city center

Voters in the canton of St.Gallen have voted in favor of a new campus on the edge of the city’s old town, creating space for around 3,000 students as well as lecturers and staff.

Campus Rosenberg (here the main building) has become too small. Image: University of St.Gallen
Campus Rosenberg (here the main building) has become too small. Image: University of St.Gallen

The University of St.Gallen (HSG) is moving closer to the city center. On Sunday, voters in the canton voted 62.9 percent in favor of building a new campus at Platztor. Support for the new campus was even higher in the city itself, with 66.45 percent of voters in favor of the new campus for one of Europe’s most important business universities.

“Today is a happy day for the University of St.Gallen, and it will go down as an important moment in the university’s history,” said HSG President Thomas Bieger. “The Platztor campus offers new opportunities: it will substantially strengthen Eastern Switzerland as a center for education and business, and it will enable the HSG to make an important contribution to this in the future, too.”

The new campus to the north of the old town will alleviate the shortage of space on the existing Rosenberg campus. When the university first moved to that site in 1963, it was designed to accommodate 900 students. Over the years, it has been expanded to accommodate around 5,000 students.

However, the student population has now risen to 8,500, and the HSG employs also 3,100 university staff. Teaching and studying times have had to be expanded accordingly, and provisional arrangements have had to be made.

With an area of 9,500 square meters, the Platztor campus will be able to accommodate around 3,000 students as well as lecturers and staff. The full-time MBA program for continuing education will also be located there. Now that the voters have approved the project, the university can launch the architectural competition.  

The costs are estimated at 207 million Swiss francs: The canton will pay 160 million francs, the federal government 25 million, the university 20 million and the city of St.Gallen 2 million. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2024, and the new campus is to open at the end of 2027.

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