Central city, New on the scene  |  10 Jun 2021

The University of Otago is expanding its Christchurch campus with a new six-storey building in the heart of the city’s health precinct.

The building has been years in the planning and will be constructed on the site of the former Tillman’s furniture store at 24 Oxford Terrace at a cost of $178 million.

Resource consent for the project has been approved by Christchurch City Council and work on the building is expected to get under way soon. Construction should be completed in 2025.

“This will be the biggest construction project the University has ever undertaken and will enable the growth of our world-class health science research and education programmes happening on our Christchurch campus,’’ says University of Otago Acting Vice-Chancellor Professor Helen Nicholson.

“I’m excited for our staff and students, who will benefit from both this new building and its location in the Te Papa Hauora/Health Precinct.”

The University of Otago’s Christchurch campus is a training base for medical students in their three clinical years. It is also a highly research-intensive campus, hosting a number of world-class research groups and postgraduate health science students.

It is home to more than 500 staff (including clinical staff jointly employed by the Canterbury District Health Board) and more than 1000 students. Students on the campus are completing their final three clinical years of a medical degree or postgraduate health-related degrees.

Dean of the University of Otago, Christchurch, Professor David Murdoch, says the new building is a clear statement from the University about its commitment in Christchurch.

The building will be a central part of Te Papa Hauora/Health Precinct and enable greater collaboration with other partner organisations in the precinct, Professor Murdoch says.

The building will house four floors of laboratories, the campus’ Outpatient Clinical Research facilities, the Centre for Postgraduate Nursing Studies, the Department of Psychological Medicine, Department of Pathology and Biomedical Science, teaching and learning facilities, and an imaging suite.

Space is also planned to co-locate strategic partners in the building.