In the presence of the Minister for Health, RSU Rector, Deputy Chairman of Rīga City Council, representatives of the construction company and students, a symbolic time capsule containing a message to future generations was immured in the foundations of the new RSU Student Hostel at 5 Dārza Street on 12 December. This will be the first student hostel constructed anew in the restored Republic of Latvia.
The immured time capsule contains a message to future generations, "On this day of laying the cornerstone, we strongly believe that the person reading this message is still living in a world where knowledge and student life is favoured and highly regarded; where eagerness to explore nature, people and society is still alive and many diseases surviving for centuries have been successfully conquered, and alongside with increased life expectancy and welfare, general human values and morals have been retained and cultivated. You live in a world embedded by findings of our university’s students and scientists, their persistent efforts and striving towards truth and better perception of the world for the sake of humanity.”
RSU Rector Professor Jānis Gardovskis addressed the attendants with the words, "The long-term development strategy of Rīga Stradiņš University foresees creation of a study environment compatible with the increasing number of students from all over the world. Additional accommodations and a qualitative study environment for local and foreign students will be an outstanding condition precedent to enhance study and research capacity at RSU, while providing students with modern study, living and recreation facilities.”
The event was also attended by the Minister for Health Anda Čakša, who gave a speech, emphasizing that, "In this so cumbersome and complicated period for healthcare, I am truly happy that we have come together to lay solid foundations for a building where the generation of prospective medical practitioners will live. I strongly believe that after a couple of years we will not only be proud of a comfortable and modern hostel for the prospective students, but also a well recovered healthcare system with a new and solid foundation.”
The Rīga City Council Deputy Chairman Andris Ameriks opened his address, “As the saying goes, the future belongs to the young. I would like to continue, saying that future perspectives are much higher for those who are young and educated. The purposeful and well considered development path taken by RSU to become one of the most contemporary East European universities truly fascinates me. The Riga city council has supported this effort and has transferred land into the possession of RSU. I really hope that our future cooperation with RSU will be open and efficient, aimed at turning Riga into an important educational centre."
The floor was given also to the chairperson of RSU Student Council Artūrs Šilovs who repeatedly emphasized the importance of this event, "The construction of the new student hotel is a historical moment for existing and prospective students. With regard to the increasing number of RSU students, the new hostel is a logical step to facilitate access to education. This is a huge step towards the goal of a joint RSU campus. Many foreign universities take pride in their campuses and RSU will soon be one of them”.
The chairman of the construction company SIA "Velve" Ainārs Leitēns added, "This will be one of the largest public building construction projects which will result in the creation of a joint study and research complex in the territory of the university’s central building. The student hostel will have three floors and underground parking. Most of new projects incorporate various access solutions for people with disabilities – this project is not an exception, the living space, rest-rooms and joint use premises will be especially adjusted.”
The new student hostel which covers the area of 5401.4 m2 will be a three-storey building with a basement floor and 135 rooms, two of which will be adjusted for the needs of people in wheelchairs. The new building will also have study and recreation facilities, underground parking, a parking lot and a special bicycle parking facility. SIA “Velve” is responsible for development of the construction project, construction of the building, author supervision and construction guarantee.
The purpose of this project is to increase the possibilities of around 8000 RSU students (1900 foreign students among them) to live in student hostels offered by the university. The constructed building, among other things, will form a joint study and research complex within the territory of RSU central building at 16 Dzirciema Street.