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February 21, 2011 | by  | in News |
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Construction Cacophony ~ at Kelburn

Few could fail to notice the giant hole that has appeared in the middle of the Kelburn campus over summer. However, more than a few seem to be in the dark about why it has appeared.

The current construction is part of the $67 million Campus Hub programme, designed to improve the Kelburn Campus.

The central building phase of the project was officially launched in November last year and considerable progress has been made since.

What is currently a mess of rubble and fluorescent vests was once an area known as the Quad—the intended heart of the university. Over summer this dark and depressing concrete courtyard, as well as the Easterfield lecture theatre, was completely demolished.

Summer also saw the refurbishment of the Student Union Building, where construction is currently being completed on numerous new student facilities.

While the project is long-term, students will gradually see the benefits of the upgrade from February. To provide outdoor spaces for students the Cotton Courtyard, Old Kirk Courtyard and Student Union Building deck have been refurbished. This includes the opening of Hot Wok and Mondo Subs and the relocation of the Krishna caravan in the Old Kirk courtyard.

Construction in the Student Union Building is also due to be completed in February. This sees the creation of Mauri Ora—a dedicated healthcare space incorporating student health, counselling and physiotherapy services. This will be operational from 21 February.

Also scheduled to be completed in February are a variety of club spaces and meeting rooms for student clubs and representative groups. A gig space, the Hunter Lounge, with the capacity to hold 1000 people, will be ready for Orientation events.

Jenny Bentley, Director of Campus Services, says the project is currently on schedule, with a number of further developments planned for 2011.

“During 2011, the foundations and the structure for the new central building will be complete and work will be underway to put up the cladding on the building. The staff and postgraduate café, Milk & Honey, will be completed and work will be well underway on Level 4 of the Library,” she says.

While some class disruption and construction noise should be expected, the project has been planned to minimise the impact this has on students.

“There has been much forward planning to anticipate lecture theatre or seminar room changes and these will be advised well in advance where possible,” says Bentley.

“The most disruptive work has been completed over the break and the new pedestrian links will enable students to move safely around the construction zone. There are other initiatives in place to minimise construction noise, such as fabricating the structure of the new central building off site.”

Bentley says the university is very happy with the way the project in progressing.

“The partnership with VUWSA and the Students’ Trust has been very successful, and our consultants and contractor are delivering a great facility.”

The Campus Hub project is scheduled to be completed in 2014. At this time the Central Building will be complete, providing students with new social, study and retail spaces. The Library will also be refurbished and connected to the Central Building.

Upon completion, the project is predicted to transform the Kelburn campus.

“The Campus Hub will significantly enhance the facilities for students and staff on the Kelburn Campus,” says Bentley.

“Great new student social and learning spaces will be created in the new central building. The refurbished Rankine Brown and Student Union buildings will also provide students with the latest in library, health and club facilities.”

More information about the Campus Hub can be found on Victoria’s website.

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  1. Madge says:

    Full of salient points. Don’t stop believing or wrtinig!

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