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March 4, 2013 | by  | in News |
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Campus Hub Finished! (Sort Of)

After three years of construction, the Campus Hub redevelopment project is largely finished and is set to be opened on 21 March by Governor-General Lt Gen Rt Hon Jerry Mateparae.

VicBooks, STA Travel, a university pharmacy and the HubSide burger bar are all operational or nearly operational, and the central building is semi-functional in its current state.

The central building remains at the heart of discussion on the project, with students fed up with the ongoing disruptions to the Kelburn campus. Construction stalled on Waitangi Day with the collapse of construction giant Mainzeal.

Campus Services Director Jenny Bentley was unable to provide any update on the information reported in Salient last week, at which time the University was seeking to engage a new main contractor.

“The completion of the outstanding work is still unknown as it depends on how many contractors can be engaged and when they can start. However, our priorities will be completing the quad, retail areas and level 2 entrance to the Library,” Bentley told Salient.

While construction continues, some elements of the project have become ingrained in student life. The Student Union Building revamp, completed in February 2011, saw the opening of the Hunter Lounge and improved meeting, storage, and working facilities for students. It has been an integral part of Kelburn campus life since.

The Hub redevelopment is a joint venture between the University and the VUWSA Trust. A portion of the total $67 million bill came from the Trust, a body funded by contributions of students under the former system of compulsory student membership.

 

Campus Hub Project Timeline

AUGUST 2006

Campus Development Framework is released, providing a 10-year plan for Victoria’s development.

2007/2008

Preliminary concept design work for the Campus Hub is completed, with approval from the University Council and VUWSA Trust.

NOVEMBER 2010

Work starts on the central hub building. The Old Kirk Courtyard, Cotton Courtyard and the Student Union Building deck are revamped.

FEBRUARY 2011

The old canopy over the Quad is removed and the Easterfield lecture theatre is demolished. The Student Union building has been redeveloped and ZHunter Lounge.

DECEMBER 2011

The structure of the central building is put in place. The structure was fabricated off site in an attempt to minimise construction noise.

DECEMBER 2012

Easterfield’s retail area was supposed to open. The accessway is currently still under construction, and some retail areas have only opened in recent weeks.

FEBRUARY 2013

The new central building opens, becoming a central hub providing access to other areas of the university for students and staff.

Despite the university’s intention to have the central building’s outdoor area completed by the start of the 2013 academic year, this area remains under construction. Mainzeal’s receivership puts the date of completion for this phase up in the air.

MARCH 2013

The Hub will be officially opened, likely still in its unfinished state, on March 21 by Governor-General Jerry Mateparae.

2014

The University had intended to have the library completely refurbished by 2014.  However, Mainzeal’s receivership and pending liquidation has made the completion date of levels 5-6 uncertain.

 

STUDENT REVIEWS

Zak, third-year Design
“It’s pretty shit”

Sean, third-year Commerce

“Pretty unfair on people…people doing a three-year degree have spend their whole time on a construction zone. The library is a bigger issue…[it’s] not good study-wise”

Kate, University employee

“There are so many new kinds of seats, and hanging sliding doors and secret nooks and crannies and light dimmers. I had at least half an hour of fun testing all those features”

Molly, third-year Film

“I wanted to come back to a nice new quad…we’ve had to deal with construction for the last two years”

Anon first-years

“I don’t mind the construction”

“Not sure how much I’d use [the Campus Hub]”

“It’s real open”

“It’s a pretty cool place to meet people”

“It would be good to have it finished”

 

Nick Truebridge & Chris McIntyre

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