MIT starts work on its Hayman Park campus
More than 50,000 students will flood into the heart of the south next year when the doors open at Manukau Institute of Technology's new campus.
Work has just started on the MIT site next to Hayman Park.
The campus will also house the new Manukau train station and bus interchange.
"It's a unique opportunity to put an educational facility with rail transport and interchange for buses," academic director Peter Quigg says.
Stage one of the project is expected to cost about $100 million.
Classes are planned to start in the second semester next year.
It will initially house between 50,000 and 65,000 fulltime-equivalent students.
Up to 150,000 fulltime-equivalent students are expected to use the facility once stage two and three are completed.
Mr Quigg says the new campus will make tertiary study much more convenient and accessible for people from south Auckland.
"The issue in Manukau is that the uptake in tertiary education is half the national average," he says.
"It needs more people in education at a tertiary level. There are long-term benefits it will bring to the city."
The Auckland Council also deserves credit for providing the site on a long-term lease, he says.
Other features of the new complex include a theatre that will be used by students and community groups, along with several commercial operators.
The faculty of business will be the first to move from its Otara campus to the new facility.
Business faculty dean John Wadsworth says students will really notice the difference when the first classes are held in July next year.
"It's incredibly exciting. It's going to enable us to do so much more.
"It's a teaching facility with technology second to none."
The new campus will also benefit those who work in Manukau.
"There are a lot of people in work who also study.
"It will be heavily accessible to them."
It's yet to be decided what other subjects will be offered at the campus, although English language and community learning are options that have been raised.
Mayor Len Brown says the location will ensure "a mutually beneficial" connection between the campus and the people of Manukau.
"Education is one of the key economic drivers that will see Auckland become one of the world's most liveable cities.
"It's already a major regional employer, providing investment and export opportunities," he says.
"The Hayman Park site is a superb example of an integrated, transformational project aligning MIT with the local community, business and industry, Auckland Council and Auckland Transport." South Auckland is fast becoming a hub for tertiary-level study with Auckland University of Technology opening a campus in Manukau in 2010.