The Rebuilding of AF borgen Runs the Risk of Hitting Hard Towards the Student Organisations

The Rebuilding of AF borgen Runs the Risk of Hitting Hard Towards the Student Organisations

Sketch of the planned auditorium on the first floor. By: Fojab Arkitekter

AF Borgen AB wants to renovate and rebuild parts of AF borgen. Large sums of donations are required for the rebuilding, which is estimated to cost 90 million SEK. Otherwise, there might be an increase in rent.

Written by Oskar Madunic Olsson – Translated by Viktor Jönsson

AF borgen is the hub in Lund’s student life. Borgen holds not only balls, fairs and conferences – it is also home of several student associations and unions. However, the owner of AF borgen, AF Borgen AB, announces that changes are needed if it will remain unchanged.
Borgen is used more than ever, which means a lot of wear and tear. Today there are already problems with, for example, a worn-out ventilation system. If we do not act now, rents could be raised shockingly to cover emergency maintenance. And should the rents be raised, we will, unfortunately, get a narrower student life. That’s nothing we want”, says Stina Åkesson, CEO of AF Borgen AB.

The company’s proposal includes a new cargo elevator for transport at the back of AF Borgen. This logistics is today managed via the main entrance and a smaller elevator inside AF borgen.
In addition, Konsertsalen, which is currently on the second floor, will be moved down to the bottom first floor area. It held previously a bookstore and is today a quiet place for study. The reasons are that there are better spaces, for example, to do make-ups related to stage performances.
Café Athens, according to the proposal, will be slightly smaller than it is today, while the foyer outside of Stora Salen on the second floor will be expanded.
“At major events, Stora Salen and Café Athens will be used together. Another society will be able to use the banquet hall at the same time but separated from the event in Stora Salen and Café Athens. This makes it easier for the organiser from an event perspective”, says Stina Åkesson.

Also, a new staircase and new toilets on the second floor are included in the plan, which will make borgen more accessible for disabled persons and cheaper in operation. For the building plans to become reality, ‘a go’ is required from the board of the Academic Society (AF), which consists almost exclusively of representatives of Lund’s student unions and nations.
But there is also another obstacle: funding. The rebuilding proposal is estimated to cost 90 million SEK – a sum which AF Borgen AB hopes to get through donations.
“I’m humble about the task of securing funding. But I think there are people and organisations that have AF Borgen very much at heart, who realise how much it means for Lund’s student life”, says Stina Åkesson.

During 2017, AF Borgen AB will probe for potential donors. Only then you will know if it is possible to proceed with the project, which has no specific timeframe yet. If funding cannot be secured by money donors, there is a risk that student life may carry the economic setback through raised rents.
AF Borgen AB has had financial difficulties the past few years when several large tenants moved out and forced AF Borgen AB to adapt to new requirements regarding fire safety. The forecast is that the company will come down on a zero result this year.

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