Dormitories: increased comfort and new equipment after renovations
As renovations at some MU dormitories have just ended and other projects are about to start, students can look forward to increased comfort, modern rooms, new windows and new furniture.
The reconstruction of the Mánesova dormitory finished in August after four months, costing CZK 26 million. Students can now look forward to more modern and comfortable services, including a new type of a tripe room instead of the original rooms for four students. The renovation included new furniture and more washers and dryers and stoves. “We managed to get everything done sooner than expected and students started to move in on 1 September, just like their colleagues and other dormitories,” says ACS Director Kamil Kulíšek.
The complete renovation at the Mánesova dormitory was painfully necessary, students say. “It was most obvious in the rooms themselves,” says Lukáš Fázik. “There was old and broken furniture and the flooring needed replacing as well. Furniture and equipment in the common areas was damaged as well – like showers, kitchenettes or the laundry room. It was common for the washing machine to stop before the completion of the cycle,” the student explains.
Indeed, the new furniture is what he appreciates the most. “The new beds are more comfortable and new wardrobes are more spacious. The arrangement of beds and shelves is interesting but the open shelving will collect more dust. The new sink with the flat bottom is more practical as well,” Fázik commented on the innovations.
He also praises two new kitchens on the ground floor, complete with a kettle, hot plate and stove. “They are a few steps from the rec room so that it is never too far to prepare tea or popcorn; and it is easier now to wash dishes in the sink,” he explains, adding that the new LED lighting in corridors, showers and bathrooms is better as well, in addition to being environmentally friendly.
Summertime renovations took place at the Bří Žůrků dormitory in Komárov; it included a new roof and new entrance. Students staying at the dormitory must expect some minor inconveniences at the entrance until the end of October.
Modernisation of dormitories is a continuous effort for MU, with the Vinařská dormitory coming up next – scheduled to start in September is the first stage of window replacement, thermal insulation and façade renovation. The second stage is scheduled for 2024.
Kounicova dormitory: two-year reconstruction
The largest renovation project to this day is scheduled to begin in October at the Kounicova dormitory (second largest dormitory complex with 581 beds originally). “The dormitory operated as usual until August, by which time all students had moved out. All applicants have their beds booked in other dormitories. The Kounicova dormitory will reopen for the 2025/2026 academic year,��� Kulíšek explained.
With the total cost of the renovation at CZK 200 million, CZK 119 comes from a Ministry of Education subsidy. The renovations will address, among other things, structural integrity issues and cracks in walls between rooms. When finished, all rooms will have an en suite and the total capacity of the dormitory (289 rooms) will remain unchanged.
The great interest of students
The demand among students for dormitory accommodation has long been high, exceeding the capacities MU can offer. ACS has long tried to satisfy the demand as much as possible. Due to the closing of the B&B hotel the number of beds increased by 122, bringing the total number of beds to 3,387.
Every year dozens of beds suddenly become available when, at the beginning of the fall semester, students withdraw their applications. “The lists of applications were closed on the first day of September and, on the same day, about fifty students inquired about vacant beds. We were able to assign those that had just become available,” says head of accommodation at ACS Renata Pavlicová.
Improvement of comfort
Even though renovations affect capacity on a temporary basis, they contribute to significant improvement of dormitory accommodation in the long term. “Our efforts in providing the best possible conditions for our students contribute to the reputation of Masaryk University in an attempt to attract talented and motivated students. Which is why our long-term investment strategies include the purchase or construction of new dormitories – such as those in the Bohunice campus,” says Vice-Rector for Student Affairs and External Relations Jana Fialová.
It is financially and technically challenging to maintain and repair the eleven dormitories, most of which are relatively old. “Masaryk University carefully maintains its real estate properties and invests large amounts of money into renovations, repairs and maintenance every year – often dozens or hundreds of millions. Meanwhile its strategic development plans include the construction of new dormitories in line with the current demands for sustainability and energy efficiency and quality of accommodation,” says MU bursar Marta Valešová.
|As at 4 September 2023:|
|➤ Total number of beds available to students - 3,387 (currently occupied at full capacity)|
|➤ Total number of students other than freshmen - 1,933|
|➤ Total number of bookings by foreign students in Erasmus and Degree programmes - 744|
|➤ Total number of freshmen with approved reservations - 749 (compared with the previous academic year, the number of beds for first-year Czech and Slovak students increased by almost 10 % in spite of the reduction of total number of beds)|
|➤ Preferential reservations for handicapped students via Teiresias - 1|
Broken appliances? Report them online
Whether you are first-year students or you are coming back to your dormitories after the summer break you must check in within five days of the commencement of your reservation. Should you fail to show up without a written excuse, your contract of accommodation will be invalidated and you will lose your deposit.
Dormitory councils: much needed assistance and own ideas brought to life
Preferential treatment in applying for dormitories or advance information on the operation of the dormitories and canteens; those are just two of the benefits of membership in dormitory councils. The Accommodation and Catering Services (ACS) will announce new elections within days of the start of the new academic year.
Exchange of Beds