$20 million set aside for varsity's stadium building

The University of Otago's stadium building is a step closer, with almost $20 million being added to this year's budget for its construction.

The Warren and Mahoney-designed Oamaru stone-clad building, linking the University Plaza and the Forsyth Barr Stadium, will contain the university's foundation studies department, the Unipol sports centre, a physiotherapy clinic and a cafe.

Presenting the revised 2010 budget to the university council yesterday, chief operating officer John Patrick said almost $20 million - $19.722 million - had been added to the capital works budget for "university plaza building one".

Construction would start next month and would be completed late next year, he said.

The university has said it wants the building to be completed before the Rugby World Cup in September.

The total cost of the building is expected to exceed $40 million.

University property services director Barry MacKay said a further capital expenditure amount would also be added to next year's budget.

Construction tenders had not yet been let.

There are plans for a second university building at the stadium after the World Cup is over.

The revised 2010 budget anticipated a larger operating surplus, Mr Patrick said at the meeting.

When the budget was set at the end of last year, the operating surplus was set at $18.9 million.

That figure had been increased by $3 million, or 16%.

The improvement had been caused by a combination of additional income generated by higher student enrolments, greater returns on investments and a reduction in the use of carry-forward expenditure, Mr Patrick said.


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