New campus offers new opportunities
A new dedicated university campus right in the heart of Tauranga CBD is gearing up to open for the start of the new academic year, this year.
University of Waikato Senior Deputy ViceChancellor, Alister Jones, says that the campus will provide increased opportunities to study for people who live and work in Tauranga. “Tauranga is now home to 130,000 to 150,000 people.
“We’re getting a lot of demand from people wanting to complete postgraduate study. The new campus will change the opportunities available in the region and meet the needs of industries and community,” he says.
The project which has been designed by Jasmax with project management by Greenstone Group and constructed by Hawkins, has been a long time in the making. Alister says for the past ﬁve years the university has been working with the local community to develop a campus to meet their needs.
The land was provided by the local council, with Bay of Plenty Regional Council and Tauranga Energy Consumer Trust each contributing $15m worth of funding for the project. The remainder of the $55-60m project has been funded by the University of Waikato.
The university has been active in the Bay of Plenty since the 1990s, when it ﬁrst formed an alliance with the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic to provide more opportunities for tertiary education in the region.
This alliance was formalised in 2006 with the establishment of the Bay of Plenty Tertiary Education Partnership, which later expanded to include Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi and Waiariki Institute of Technology.
Alister says the new campus will consolidate the university’s current tertiary offerings within the Bay of Plenty region.
Currently, the University of Waikato is based across multiple locations including Windermere Campus and the Bongard Centre (shared with the Polytechnic), the Coastal Marine Field Station, the Institute for Professional Learning and the University of Waikato Adams Centre for High Performance.
The ﬁrst stage of the project will deliver an 8,600 square metre, four-storey plus basement building housing teaching spaces, a 200-seat lecture theatre and ofﬁces.
It will have a research and innovation focus, encouraging and catalysing entr epreneurship and business incubation and commercialisation activity, as well as a multi function room available for community use.
Alister says the bulk of the programmes delivered will be from the University of Waikato but there may be some programmes from partners.
“Social learning spaces are integrated throughout the building and walkways lead to different parts.
“We have designed this building so it is not just for students but also for the wider community. This is important because universities are connected to the communities so this should be reﬂected,” he says.
The building will feature a future-proof design with very ﬂexible spaces so it is able to cater to changing styles of teaching and learning.
The second stage, currently planned for completion in 2040, will give the capacity for a further 500 Equivalent Full Time Students, (or approximately 717 actual students) in any given year.
The university expects student numbers to rise from the present approximately 500 to eventually up to 2000.
“It will be a vibrant, exciting and engaging community and industry hub providing targeted undergraduate and postgraduate teaching, together with applied research creating solutions to regional is
sues. It is important that we create the right environment to expand as the university grows. This is the anchor building for any future development.”
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