University of Otago's upgrade and expansion of Toroa College
has gone over budget by more than $580,000.
University council papers from last month showed between
January and the end of May it had spent $1.781 million on the
Regent Rd project against a budget of $1.2 million.
The total project - which involved adding 20 rooms and
upgrading was completed in May - was expected to cost $3.346
The ballooning costs were due to ''an error made on the cost
estimates for this project'', the report said.
In response to questions from the Otago Daily Times,
property services director Barry MacKay said: ''The project
was more complex than anticipated, including the amount of
compliance upgrade required so the current facilities could
meet new building standards.
''Together, these contributed to cost pressures that were
unable to be controlled within early budget estimates.''
The project came as the university and other residential
college owners had spent tens of millions of dollars
upgrading facilities in recent years.
Director of accommodation services James Lindsay said the
university had been carrying out a ''significant renovation
and refurbishment programme'' on its residential colleges
over the past five years.
''The university understands the value of being a residential
university and providing an outstanding campus environment.
''Upgrading the residential colleges is maintaining that
outstanding world-class student experience,'' he said.
The upgrade of Toroa included the creation of a large central
common space called ''Manawa'' (heart).
''It is the single biggest and best development at the
college since it started 18 years ago,'' he said.
''[Manawa] is already a popular place for Toroa residents to
study, relax and develop lifelong friendships.''
The additional bedrooms meant it now had 152 bedrooms.