Students 'blown away' by strengthened Knox College

Second-year Knox residents Imogen Scott (20) and Jake Mills (20) are both happy with the refurbishments carried out at the college over the summer break. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
Second-year Knox residents Imogen Scott (20) and Jake Mills (20) are both happy with the refurbishments carried out at the college over the summer break. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
After expressing initial apprehension when the need for earthquake strengthening at Knox College was announced last year, students returning to the residential hall have been impressed by the refurbishments done over the summer.

Students began returning to the hall last week, only a few days after the completion of a $12.1 million earthquake-strengthening and extension project, which started last November.

Second-year Knox College resident and the hall's student president Jake Mills (20) said he was ''blown away'' by what the contractors and project managers, Arrow International, had achieved.

''Everything has been redone.''

In particular he was impressed with the work done on the junior common room and the installation of new showers. which hit the spot after ''some of the messy Orientation events''.

The ''anxiety'' felt by some that the refurbishment would result in some of the building's history being lost had been ''put to rest'', he said.

''Everyone was really comforted when they came in, just to see that . . . the whole spirit of the place has stayed the same.''

One of the things students were most worried about was the loss of the old wardrobes, which had been signed by previous occupants of each room.

''There was a big anxiety with some of the leaving students that they would lose their name and therefore their place in the history of Knox, but the builders went out of their way to cut the backs out of all the wardrobes and put them into the new ones.

''Little things like that have been really good,'' he said.

Fellow second-year resident Imogen Scott (20) said the new Knox was the best of both worlds.

''All the history is there, but with a much more modern feel.''

The addition of extra rooms had been ''quite a lot to handle'' at first, but was a positive overall ''because there is going to be more people who can say they are Knoxies'', she said.

Knox College master the Rev Dr Selwyn Yeoman said the return of students to the college had run ''smoothly''.

''It's been wonderful, actually, the co-operation between Arrow International and the staff at Knox College . . . has just been a real inspiration,'' he said.

Due to being supplied incorrect information, an Otago Daily Times report on Saturday said Dr Yeoman was going to be formally installed as Knox College master at a ceremony at Knox Church on Wednesday, when in fact the ceremony is taking place on Thursday.