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Constructive Partnership Builds Campus Village

13 August 2002

Constructive Partnership Builds Campus Village

Building has begun at UNITEC on a 134-bed apartment development for student accommodation, to be opened in February 2003.

The project, solely for UNITEC use, is a joint venture between Ngati Whatua and Townscape Developments. It moves away from the traditional hostel model and offers students contemporary single and two- to five- bedroom apartments.

Roger Paul, who is in charge of campus development at UNITEC, said hostel accommodation was to be phased out as the institute of technology worked towards creating an on-campus village with high-quality facilities and housing for students and visiting staff.

"We feel the apartments are a good solution for students. They have all the facilities they need, the campus academic and personal support services are readily available for them, but they still have the independence of flatting."

Mr Paul said UNITEC had followed the model of successful accommodation developments at other tertiary institutes, where investor money was used for student housing. The institute did not need to commit scarce education funds for housing, but still retained overall control of the development.

The Ngati Whatua-Townscape development brings the number of beds in the UNITEC Residential Village to 304. Last year Townscape built a 170-bed complex as the first stage of the Village, and that development is now ready for sale to investors.

Mr Paul said UNITEC would continue to adminster the apartments and provide pastoral care to the students. Though the apartments would be privately owned, planning consents ensured they would always be available for student and staff at a cost they could afford.

"Our vision for UNITEC is a residential area where a true community can be built up," said Mr Paul. "Eventually it will include all the services, facilities and spirit of a village, and will add to the liveliness and vitality of the academic campus community. The presence of a village will also help keep the campus active over an extended time - making good use of the facilities."


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