Official opening new swimming pool Vrije Universiteit Brussel

On Friday 2 February 2018 Vrije Universiteit Brussel will officially open its renovated swimming pool on the Brussels Humanities, Sciences & Engineering Campus in Etterbeek. The pool will not be used only for academic purposes by students and staff, but also for schools, clubs and the community. In the Brussels region there is an acute shortage of places to swim. On Saturday 10 February 2018 the pool will open its doors to the general public.


Official opening with the reveal of a commemorative plaque will start at 4:00pm and will finish at 6:30pm.

15u45 Welcome

16u Introduction rector Caroline Pauwels in VUB-gymnasium

16u10 Presentation pro-rector Paul De Knop

16u30 Presentation architecture agency

16u40 Panel discussion with Brussels prime minister Rudi Vervoort, Brussels ministers Guy Vanhengel and Pascal Smet, Flemish minister Sven Gatz en Program manager at the European Commission Julie Thiran. Philippe Muyters will be present through video conference.

17u00 Transfer to swimming pool

17u10 Official opening in the swimming pool

By sporting generous group and individual dressing rooms, its own swim school SWIMOVE, the expansion of activities to different aqua-fitness varietes... VUB hopes to attract 130.000 visitors per year. The extended opening hours and democratic rates further contribute to the broad accessibility of the pool.

Two pools

From now on swimmers can use two pools. A large one measuring 25m in length and 12m in width that has a variable depth of 1m to 3m, and a smaller one measuring 13m by 7m with a moveable floor. This instruction pool has an adjustable depth so that infants, toddlers, seniors and people with a handicap can use the pool comfortably.

Obviously VUB students majoring in Physical Education or Physiotherapy will have wide access to the pool to prepare for their future working environments in and around water. For top athlete students it forms the ideal preparation for competition.

With this new pool we invest in the social tissue of the neighbourhood, the city and the campus, in physical and mental resillience of youngsters, adults and senior citizens, in the self-reliance of invalids, and in the revalidation of those who are temporarily inhibited.

The VUB pool is the most sustainable one in the region. Due to the compact construction of the building with better insulation, efficient air ventilation, heat and rinse water recuperation as well as energy production through thermal cogeneration is will be the most energy-efficient pool in Brussels! At the end of 2016 the swimming pool project was named one of the ten exemplary buildings in Brussels by Be.exemplary of the Brussels Capital Region.

947 Tiles

The renovation of the swimming pool has a total price tag of eight million euro. More than half of that was funded with government means, such as by the European Fund for Regional Development (Europe and the Brussels Capital Region are represented by Brussels prime minister Rudy Vervoort). Further significant contributions were made by the departments of Brussels ministers and chairman of the VGC college Guy Vanhengel, Flemish minister of Sports Philippe Muyters, Flemish minister for Brussels Sven Gatz and Brussels minister and member of the VGC college responsible for Sports Pascal Smet.

Donors and VUB-alumni purchased 947 virtual tiles and numerous private sponsors such as the International School of Brussels, FPIM, Yakult, IPG, Vivaqua and Chaudfontaine further contributed to the project.

European Fund for Regional Development

EFRD (European Fund for Regional Development) is an instrument of the European regional policy that focuses on the creation of new opportunities for European citizens and the reduction of differences in living standards between its regions.

For instance, EFRD, the Capital region and Europe have invested 108 million euro in 32 projects in the Brussels region between 2007 and 2013. Projects relating to child cares, re-employment, training, but also sustainable development, support for economic activities, improvement of the infrastructure of the canal area and its social cohesion.

The current program period (2014-2020) entails 46 projects that focus on access to the labour market, research, circular economy, innovation and improvement to the living environment. Europe and the Capital Region invest 200 million in the new program.

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