Anna is a reporter at the Bay of Plenty Times

Tauranga Waikato Uni campus to get $15 million boost

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UNI BOOST: The new Tauranga Waikato University campus is set to receive an extra $15 million. PHOTO/CLAIRE DE BARR
UNI BOOST: The new Tauranga Waikato University campus is set to receive an extra $15 million. PHOTO/CLAIRE DE BARR

An extra $15 million is to be pumped into the new University of Waikato Tauranga campus, including multipurpose conference facilities for the community.

Waikato University senior deputy vice-chancellor Alister Jones said the extra money would be used to create a "truly iconic" building to meet the needs of the region.

"Originally it was only $10 million, but as we went through the process we realised to meet the needs of Tauranga and the wider Bay of Plenty, and the university and out partners, it needed to be a much more future-proof building so we could actually expand the use so community could use it," Dr Jones said.

"Tauranga has struggled to have conferences. It's designed so it's not just a teaching and research facility but also be able to take conferences, be able to hold functions for the community and trying to keep to keep it as open as possible so it has a strong community function as well.

He said the multi-purpose room would enable members of the community to have sit-down dinners and hire out seminar facilities.

"The whole thing is a teaching and research facility with modern learning rooms and also social learning spaces."

Dr Jones said the teaching and research facility would have modern, technology-integrated rooms, with a "future-focused learning environment".

"It'll be a flexible learning environment, it's not just seats in a row," he said.

He said they wanted to create the area between Elizabeth St and Spring St, Cameron Rd and Durham St into an education precinct.

The campus would be built on Durham St and is scheduled to be completed by 2020.

The $15m was on top of $10m already promised for the campus, with $30m worth of community funding from the Bay of Plenty Regional Council and the Tauranga Energy Consumer Trust, and it would sit on land donated by Tauranga City Council.

The campus would provide targeted undergraduate and postgraduate teaching, along with applied research aimed to look at solutions for regional issues.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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