College extension set to be finished next month: uni

Construction work continues at Aquinas College. Photo: Gerard O'Brien
Construction work continues at Aquinas College. Photo: Gerard O'Brien
The long-delayed Aquinas College extension project should be finished next month, the University of Otago says.

The project, which is budgeted at about $23.3 million, includes a new 66-bed wing for the dorm, meaning the college will accommodate 224 first-year students once complete.

Otago University campus development director Tanya Syddall said the project had been "red-flagged" due to significant delays.

"The delays continue to be related to the challenges around resourcing and supply delays, specifically related to the facade.

"We are continuing to work with the main contractor around any further potential delays and related impacts."

When the project was first approved in 2021, it was hoped to be completed by July this year, but supply issues and inflationary pressure hampered the project.

It was initially budgeted at about $18m.

Ms Syddall said it was anticipated the buildings would be completed by January next year.

"There will be some exterior deferred works, such as landscaping beyond this date."

Asked whether there would be a debrief about how to avoid similar delays in the future, Ms Syddall said "lessons-learned" sessions and reports were standard practice after all University of Otago capital projects were completed.

"However, there are wider industry challenges across New Zealand with facade contractor capacity, resourcing and supply chain delays."