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September 21, 2014 | by  | in News |
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Terrace-firma

Victoria University has purchased the earthquake-prone Gordon Wilson Housing New Zealand Complex on the Terrace.

The flats were once home to 131 people. The 87 flats were evacuated in 2012 due to safety concerns around the concrete façade of the building.

Engineers found that it was prone to collapse in an earthquake or strong wind.

Victoria University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Grant Guilford, said that the site was a part of future development projects that the University was planning.

“We’ve got a lot of work to go through, but you can imagine some of the possibilities and we’ve got a number of things in mind.”

Professor Guilford also proposed that the site could serve as a safer alternative to the Boyd-Wilson path.

“You could possibly have a series of buildings stepping up to the Kelburn campus, bringing students safely through from the Terrace.”

Safety is a primary concern to Victoria University, and demolition of the unsafe building is a possibility.

“If the consensus of the community was that the building shouldn’t be there, it would certainly suit our views.”

Director of Campus Services, Jenny Bentley, said “the site spans the slope between the Terrace and the Kelburn campus, making it a potentially important part of achieving the University’s strategic goal of being more connected to the city of Wellington.”

Other projects that the University is undertaking will take priority.

A new School of Biological Sciences building will be constructed at Kelburn Campus.

According to the University website, the new building “will encompass modern teaching and research environments that are designed for the digital age.”

The other major building project is the development of Rutherford House at Pipitea Campus.

Rutherford House will provide an informal learning area for students at the Pipitea campus, and will use “the success of the award-winning Hub at the Kelburn campus as a model.”

All of the projects are subject to a variety of funding and building approvals.

 

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