$26m arts space next in campus builds

David Perry.
David Perry. Photo: supplied

Work will shortly begin on the next major construction project at the University of Otago - a $26 million home for the departments of music, theatre and the performing arts.

The development involves a new building beside the Robertson Library in Union St East, as well as refurbishing the music suite, teaching wing and tower block on the nearby College of Education campus.

''Design work has been completed and we are looking forward to a start on site early this year, with completion in mid-2019,'' campus development director David Perry said.

The Dunedin campus has looked like a building site in recent years with several major projects on the go, but the new arts facility is the sole new project scheduled for early 2018.

Two of those major projects are scheduled to be completed before February 26, when regular classes begin.

The first is the $17.6 million refurbishment of the Business School.

The building, which had serious problems with leaks, underwent a substantial refit in the wake of the university pleading guilty in a health and safety case involving a woman falling on slippery tiles.

The school's atrium and adjoining offices have been reconfigured and the roof replaced in time for Summer School students to use.

It will be officially opened early this year.

The second is the $56 million gutting and refurbishment of the university's Science I building, on the corner of Cumberland St North and Union Pl.

Work is expected to be finished by February, although some specialist components for one laboratory cannot be delivered until April.

Two further projects, expected to last several months, are under way.

A $9.1 million conversion of St David II into offices started in November, and should be finished by May.

Work on the biggest building project on campus, the $130 million remake of Faculty of Dentistry, facilities, will continue for most of the year, Mr Perry said.

''During the summer break, the Blue lecture theatre will be refurbished, including new seating, lighting, surface finishes and an upgraded audio-visual system.

''The existing student commons will be demolished so the construction of a new, expanded commons can start.''

During 2018 work will continue on a new clinical services building, which will house clinical areas in the Walsh building, in Great King St.

The Walsh Building will then be refurbished, with work due to be finished by early 2020.

Scheduled maintenance work is being done in the holiday break on the Archway lecture theatres and the Microbiology building.

mike.houlahan@odt.co.nz

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