Otago Uni first for Chch health precinct
An Otago University building is set to be the first constructed in Christchurch's new health precinct, but it might not be on the site initially planned.
The university bought a property next to the Pegasus Arms pub in Oxford Tce this year on which to build a second facility.
Its existing School of Medicine building, closed for earthquake repairs, is on Canterbury District Health Board land in Riccarton Ave, and both properties are on land earmarked for the city's new health precinct.
The dean and head of the University of Otago, Christchurch, Professor Peter Joyce, said the new building could be the first built in the new precinct as funding was approved before the central-city blueprint was unveiled.
An architect would be appointed within weeks, he said, and it was hoped a concept plan would be out by March next year to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the original building.
The health precinct affects about 30 land parcels and, as one of the blueprint anchor projects, its development may include land acquisition.
The university received a letter from the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) about possible purchase.
A university spokeswoman said the building site might shift.
"We're obviously waiting to hear back - the expectation is by the end of the 100 days [since the blueprint's release] - as to where our building will be situated."
The building's function had not been decided, she said.
"It's all up in the air at the moment but it's possible that the existing building will be teaching and clinical-related things and the new building may be more research-oriented," she said.
A Cera spokesman said the authority had talked with public and private health and education providers about being part of the precinct, "but the design and a large amount of detail is still to be worked through".
- © Fairfax NZ News
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