Polytechnic upgrade work to begin next week

A $12 million upgrade of two of Otago Polytechnic's main campus buildings has been approved and construction is set to start on Monday.

Chief operating officer Philip Cullen said the project, which involves building an atrium linking the polytechnic's F and H blocks, was given final approval by a council subcommittee last week.

The first stage of the project - which involved fire compliance in H block - was completed in January and final approval for the rest of the project came a few weeks after tenders for the rest of the work came in.

It was planned the upgrade would be finished by October next year, Mr Cullen said.

The upgraded complex would include collaborative and social learning spaces and areas for exhibitions to be held.

The aim was for complex to ''draw people to the campus'' and give it a ''competitive edge''.

Mr Cullen said the polytechnic was happy with the final estimated cost of $11.9 million for the project, despite it being at higher end of its original $10 million to $12 million estimate.

Changes to building requirements and the scope of the building meant, at one point, the cost had been put at $13.6 million.

However, in large part due to a ''pleasing'' tender process, this had been brought back to $11.9 million.

As project manager, Signal Management Group would oversee about 20 subcontractors who would work on the project.