Expansion on the cards for polytechnic

The Otago Polytechnic Student Village, Te Pa Tauira. Photos: Peter McIntosh
The Otago Polytechnic Student Village, Te Pa Tauira. Photos: Peter McIntosh
Less than three months after it officially opened, the Otago Polytechnic is already seeking to expand its new $20 million accommodation complex.

Occupancy of the new 231-bed student village, Te Pa Tauira, has exceeded expectations and has led the polytechnic to explore the possibility of expanding the multi-purpose complex.

Otago Polytechnic communications director Mike Waddell said if the interest in the complex continued through to the end of 2019 then the polytechnic planned to expand it by about 100 beds.

About 90% of the beds in the village were already taken and this was well above what was expected in its first year, Mr Waddell said.

"Obviously, year one has exceeded our expectations and if we keep tracking as we believe we will, then it's a very likely scenario."

Consideration would need to be given to the amount of land available around the village and how many more car parks would be needed, he said.

"It's a case of us saying, righto if the demand is there we're prepared to look at that building and this could be a three to five-year project."

Any expansion would be on top of the $80 million the polytechnic planned to spend on its redeveloped campus in the next five years, he said.

The building programme would start next year with the rebuild of Te Punaka Owheo (Maori student centre), a new engineering, trades and technology facility and developing of a creative arts precinct.

Mr Waddell and deputy chief executive Jo Brady spoke to the polytechnic's submission on the Dunedin City Council's 10-year plan yesterday.

Councillors heard the polytechnic backed the $20 million tertiary precinct upgrade plan.

Mrs Brady said car parking around the campus continued to be one of the major issues for staff and students and hoped the demand was considered with the upgrade.


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