Its long-term redevelopment plan aims to make it a modern campus that embraces New Zealand’s culture, of which the first phase is to be completed by 2023, during the university’s 150-year jubilee.
The new design, the cost of which may exceed NZD2 billion (US$1.4 billion), proposes fifty buildings and landscape projects to be developed over three stages by 2045. The New Zealand Government has provided NZD260 million (US$182 million) to on-campus building, the remainder of which will be funded by the university itself.
With this ambitious project, the university wants to create an “inspirational” environment for students and for the university to keep up with global trends in higher education.
“It’s the university being able to look forward and consider the future rather than looking back to fix up the broken things of the past,” said Vice-chancellor Dr Rod Carr to Stuff.
Three new buildings to energise the campus
Over the next two years, the university aims to open three flagship buildings to kick-off its 30-year master plan.
For 2017, the completely refurbished Engineering Precinct will welcome its first students for the start of the 2017 semester followed by the Regional Science and Innovation Centre, which will open its doors in the middle of the year.
Whereas for 2018, the fully renovated Rehua building which houses the College of Education, Health and Human Development will open its doors at the beginning of the year.
Through these new buildings, the university hopes to create “some of the most modern teaching, learning and research facilities in the Southern Hemisphere”.
“Once those buildings are open and students are reaping the benefits, it will really energise our campus,” learning resources executive director Alex Hanlon said.
The University of Christchurch is located in Christchurch, New Zealand, the site of a 6.3 magnitude earthquake in 2011 that caused the deaths of 185 people. The university has suffered many losses ever since, including big drops in student numbers, austerity cuts and costly damages to its buildings.
However, since last year, the higher education sector in Christchurch has picked up, in terms of increased student enrollment, showing healthy signs of recovery for the city and its universities.