Otago Polytechnic has announced ambitious plans to
demolish the old buildings on its School of Art site in Anzac
Ave, Dunedin, and replace them with teaching spaces for more
than 1000 art, engineering and horticulture students.
The $25 million redevelopment will be staged over 12 years,
with trades students helping to construct the buildings to
keep down costs.
Initial concept plans show a multistoreyed U-shaped building
on the Riego St boundary linking to a multistoreyed
rectangular building on the Anzac Ave frontage.
An atrium containing a student common room and upper plaza
will link the buildings to two art school buildings which
will be retained.
One of the buildings was completed about a decade ago and the
other only last year.
A barn for horticultural studies overlooking the Water of
Leith is proposed, while the riverside area will be developed
into a recreational space.
Chief executive Phil Ker said yesterday the plans were
"After being focused on the immediate for so long, it is
refreshing to be planning further out."
When completed, the buildings would cater for about 900
existing art and engineering students and 70 staff, and for
further roll expansion, he said.
The polytechnic council had already approved stage one of the
six-stage project, the demolition next month of a building at
the northern end of the site, Mr Ker said.
Construction of a $1 million teaching space for bachelor of
engineering technology students was scheduled to begin in
Last year, the Government withdrew $12.5 million of capital
funding earmarked to build the new Otago Institute of Design.
Mr Ker said the Anzac Ave project had deliberately been
staged so the polytechnic could carry out the work within an
annual capital expenditure budget of about $2.5 million.
"There is no money available from the Tertiary Education
Commission for capital projects.
"We know that, so it it a waste of time asking for it."
Chief operating officer Philip Cullen said two main drivers
were behind the project - the poor state of repair of the old
art school buildings, and the need for the polytechnic to
move out of L Block, the engineering department buildings
opposite the art school on the east side of Anzac Ave.
While the polytechnic owned L Block, the land was owned by
businessman Earl Hagaman.
When the annual ground lease rent was reviewed two years ago,
Mr Hagaman's "opening bid" was a 10-fold increase, Mr Cullen
Following arbitration, that was decreased to just under a
With L block only a stone's throw from the Forsyth Barr
Stadium, Mr Cullen said it was inevitable land in the area
would become more valuable.
"We want to be out of there and into buildings on our own
land before the next rent review in 2022."
Polytechnic council members supported the project at a
meeting on Thursday.
Chris Staynes said it was "well worth pursuing".
"All the surrounding land near the stadium is going to be
worth a lot more in years to come.
"With the development that is already going on in the area,
if we don't plan ahead we won't get the facilities we need."