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Waikato University halls get multi-million dollar facelift

Waikato University halls get multi-million dollar facelift

The University of Waikato is investing $7.5 million this year to upgrade part of its student accommodation.

In the first of a projected series of works, two of the four College Hall blocks are undergoing significant renovations, says Head of Facilities Management John Cameron.

“Students and their parents have very high expectations about the standard of accommodation being offered, and these upgrades will ensure we are continuing to meet these standards.

“The halls will be brought up to a superior standard – there will be data cabling to every room, wi-fi throughout, fully upgraded bathrooms, more student lounges, and modern furnishings and fittings in the bedrooms.”

Besides the cosmetic changes, there will also be increased security for students, with electronic access control to the exterior of the buildings, and upgrading of all power, lighting, water reticulation, drainage and heating; the university plans to recycle or reuse as much existing furniture as possible.

College Hall on Silverdale Road was built in the late 1960s for the then Hamilton Teachers’ College students, and while there have been minor improvements made over the years, the time has come for a major upgrade, says Mr Cameron. Work is currently underway on one block and will begin on the next in August, for completion by March 2013.

The university will complete the upgrade of all College Hall accommodation blocks by 2015 and hopes to upgrade the blocks in the other three halls of residence subsequently, but any work will cause minimum disruption to students.

“We will not be losing more than 100 of our 1000 beds on campus at any given time, and the university offers services to help students find alternative accommodation” says Mr Cameron.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Roy Crawford says the halls are a big part of the student experience at Waikato.

“We want to ensure students are getting the most out of their time at Waikato, and our Halls of Residence offer students support, activities and a safe environment, and essentially become home for many students each year.

“Last year we completed our $30 million Student Centre, and this new investment is another step in ensuring our students have the best possible experience at Waikato.”

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