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September 4, 2016 | by  | in News Splash |
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VUW makes bank on Karori campus

Victoria University will be selling Karori campus for an estimated $20 million, after purchasing it from the government in 2014 for just $10.

The campus is made up of 20 buildings and covers 3.7ha.

Up until 2016 the campus was home to the Faculty of Education and much of the recently outsourced Foundation Studies program.

Campus facilities include classrooms and lecture theatres, but also tennis courts, pools, a hall, a gym, and music suites.

The decision to sell the campus has come after a lengthy review that looked into a number of options for repurposing the campus as accommodation, redeveloping it for other parts of the university, or finding another user.

When speaking on the decision, Vice-Chancellor Grant Guildford said “the role of the Karori campus has long been a subject of debate within Victoria, primarily because of Karori’s distance from the university’s other main campuses, which are in, or close to, the central city.”

“This isolation has always created a sense of disconnection for staff and students at Karori,” he added.

Chief operating officer Mark Loveard echoed this, saying “at the end of the day it comes down to our students and staff really want to be on the main campus, where they have access to support and services.”

Mayoral candidate Jo Coughlan is strongly encouraging the Wellington City Council to acquire the campus, saying, “if we have the asset in the city’s control then we create options for what Wellington may wish to do with this site.”

“There will undoubtedly be strong commercial interest in the site. A mix of commercial and community use for this site may be the best outcome overall. Let’s keep our options open at this stage,” she adds.

Mayoral candidate Justin Lester is also in support of it remaining with the community, and is “urging” the university to work with the Council to retain the facilities.

“It’s essential the campus’ community and sports facilities are retained for future use by Karori residents,” he said.

The Wellington City Council is yet to state whether or not it will seek to acquire the campus, but says they will “continue to work with the community and university to explore options for the community to use campus facilities during the sale process.”

The campus is currently used by the Karori Tennis Club, netballers, Karori Taekwondo, Karori Junior Cricket Club, Fiona Haines dance school, and Karori Normal School.

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