With the construction of the Rotovž Center in Maribor, the decades-long spatial problem of the central unit of the Maribor Library is being solved. The project has now moved to the stage where they are starting to erect the new complex on the construction site.
Mayor of Maribor Saša Arsenović due to necessary additional works, he expects that Center Rotovž will open its doors in 2025, and not in the first half of 2024, as was initially announced. In addition to the library, the new building will also have a gallery and a cinema. Construction began at the beginning of 2022, with the old library building and the opposite building having to be demolished first, and then Rotovški trg deepened.
The largest investment in local cultural infrastructure with state co-financingThe progress of the implementation of the project, which is co-financed with state funds, was recently reviewed by the State Secretary at the Ministry of Culture Matevž Čelik Vidmar. According to him, it is currently the largest investment in local cultural infrastructure co-financed by the state, as it is a project of wider importance.
“I am glad that these are also very interesting program solutions, in terms of the creation of a new structural center in the city center, in connection with the renovation of cultural heritage, in connection with the revitalization of the city center, in connection with connecting modern contents with traditional ones. Even from a purely spatial-architectural point of view, there are some innovations,” said the secretary.
Čelik Vidmar, who is an architect by training, among other things, was impressed by the idea of reusing building materials: “The bricks from the ruins will be re-incorporated into the new buildings. These are things that we would like to encourage at the state level in future investments as well.“
An extremely demanding project in equally extremely demanding timesAccording to the mayor, construction is progressing “at the expected pace“, emphasizing that it is an extremely demanding project that is being implemented in extremely demanding times. Therefore, in his opinion, it is not a surprise that some additional work was required and that the time frame of the project’s implementation is being slightly extended.
“All additional works required additional time, as they did not allow the progress of the works according to the timeline. It is likely that in 2024 we will finish the works that were foreseen, and I hope that we will witness the opening in 2025,Arsenovič added. Among other things, the builders had to additionally statically rehabilitate the corner of the neighboring town hall Rotovž, and during the demolition they also discovered paintings, according to the first estimates from the 17th century, which had to be properly secured.
Architect Rok Žnidaršič, who is the responsible project manager, explained that they are currently carrying out finishing works to protect the construction pit. At the Rotovž town hall, the construction pit is already at its final depth, and there they are now setting up a kinetotic for ventilation, electrical and other installations, which will then be the basis for the foundation slab that will connect all the buildings at the basement level. “We can say that after all these months of implementation of the construction pit now started building a house from level 0 upwards,” he also said.
The construction of the Rotovž Center was initially estimated at around 25.5 million euros. According to the contract from December 2021, half of the money will be contributed by the municipality, the other half or 12.7 million euros and the Ministry of Culture. The mayor estimates that the value of the project is currently due to rising prices close to 30 million euros. As he said, he believes that the state will stick to its promise of half co-financing. “But this is also a challenge for the city budget,” he added.
Čelik Vidmar provided further support to the project. “There are currently a lot of investments in cultural infrastructure, and I must say that additional work and price increases are a big challenge for the investment part of the cultural budget. But let me say that we stand behind the project and that we will support it until the end,” he concluded when visiting the construction site.