The new NIS 300 million college campus in Ashdod will be environmentally friendly, with the 36-acre site generating half its energy needs using solar and geothermal power.
The campus will be home to schools including a branch of the Shamoon College of Engineering, a nursing school and a school of environmental studies.
The campus will be located at the city's entrance in a new section of town that will also house other institutions including a hospital to support the nursing school, a technology center and a park linked to the area's sand dunes. The campus will be built around an ancient sycamore grove.
Unlike other Israeli colleges, the Ashdod campus will not be fenced in, and some of its buildings will be set on pillars to preserve the landscape. A visitors' center and observation deck will be built in the sycamore grove focusing on the surrounding dunes. The municipality also plans to build hundreds of dormitory rooms next to the campus.
The Knafo Klimor architectural firm was chosen to plan the project, beating out four other firms. Ashdod city hall had previously accepted bids and hired another firm, Haim Dotan Architects. But due to changes including the decision to develop an entire section of the city, the earlier plan was scrapped.
Construction of the campus is projected to begin within a year, with funding from the Council for Higher Education, the Ashdod municipality and private donations.