Otago Uni to build $90m residential hall

An artist's impression of University of Otago's planned new 450-bed residential college on the...
An artist's impression of University of Otago's planned new 450-bed residential college on the corner of Albany and Forth Sts. Photo: University of Otago
The University of Otago announced this morning it will build a new 450-bed, $90 million seven-storey residential college, to meet a forecast increase in student enrolments.

It will be on university-owned land on the corner of Albany and Forth St - which formally housed the Albany St recording studio - and is scheduled to be operational for the 2023 academic year.

The name Te Rangi Hiroa and that residential college's identity will transfer to the new facility.

"The existing 125-bed college may close at the end of 2022 to make way for the new Dunedin Hospital or may continue as residential accommodation for a period depending on the progress of the hospital project," the statement said.

The college will be on seven levels over four wings and will include 125 ensuite rooms, professional college staff accommodation, reception and offices, dining hall and kitchen, and multi-functional communal spaces.

A concept image of the inside of the new 450-bed Te Rangi Hiroa residential college. Photo:...
A concept image of the inside of the new 450-bed Te Rangi Hiroa residential college. Photo: University of Otago
The project will boost the university’s number of residential beds by 325, enabling Otago to cater for predicted growth in first–year enrolments.

The total estimate for design, construction, furnishings and overheads is in the order of $90m.

Descendants of Te Rangi Hiroa (Sir Peter Buck), the university's first Māori graduate, gifted the use of his name for the existing college which opened in 2014.

The new college will incorporate input from Te Rangi Hiroa’s Ngāti Mutunga iwi and local Ngāi Tahu throughout the design process.

As part of the University of Otago’s ongoing sustainability agenda, the new college is intended to achieve a NZ Green Building Council 5-star Green Star rating (NZ Excellence) for the building, encompassing energy efficiency, innovation and sustainability.

The new college will be built on the site of the university’s Albany St recording studio which is to be demolished early next year. 


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Wow. What great news. The DCC will be pleased with the expectant rates income.
Woops. I forgot. The University doesn't pay rates !!!!

And they'll just lay off a few more academics to help afford it. Who cares about the research and the teaching as long as the digs are snazzy eh?

450 beds, so one could expect a couple hundred car parks for them too?

Bright, modern and with good outlook. Much better than many cold sunless houses in Dunedin. Walk to class and no car required.

The University of Otago is one of the "top five land-owning public entities" in the country according to RNZ, had an operating surplus of over $147 million last year according to the ODT and is one of the most significant landlords in the city. Clearly the University is in the business of property management. They should be paying rates.

The Vice-Chancellor makes over $600,000 per year plus perks. If the University wants to cut costs and get rid of staff, that's where they should start.

The Uni may not pay rates but they do bring in student who shop at all the local stores and keep the local economy moving forward

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