The Pā development at the University of Waikato is taking shape, with University Council members including Vice-Chancellor Neil Quigley visiting the site alongside contractors Hawkins on Tuesday.
The Pā is the largest capital project in the University’s 58-year history, and will create a new main entrance to the Hamilton campus from Hillcrest Road.
The development includes a new campus marae and wharenui, a student hub with bookable meeting spaces and a food court. The Pā will also be home to Te Pua Wānanga ki te Ao - the Faculty of Māori and Indigenous Studies and the University’s Senior Leadership Team.
Progress on site has been positive with significant progress on the roof, facades and internal fit out, said the University's Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Alister Jones.
“With 120 personnel on site, ceiling installation is now in progress in the main hub area where glazing has been completed,” he said. “Internal partitions are underway in the wharenui area alongside first fix services. The roof is now acquiring its full extent, with significant progress to the north and external plant deck areas. The removal of scaffolding on the north side reveals the Equitone finish which gives the viewer an appreciation of how the building will look.”
After the tour, Pro-Chancellor Mrs Susan Hassall said she was “really impressed” with various aspects of the project, from the health and safety protocols to the building design.
“I was so impressed with the wharenui; it’s really spacious, and I love the wooden beams used in the design,” she said.
“It’s going to be a very special space for the University and everyone who visits. It was a privilege to visit the site and I can’t wait to see it when it is open.”
University Council member Dr Joan Forret said The Pā was “an absolutely fantastic space” which will transform the on-campus experience for University students, staff, visitors and the broader community.
“It will be a wonderful space, especially for special events such as graduations,” said Dr Forret.
Students will be able to graduate on the Hamilton campus at The Pā on a large stage in the student hub, or at the new marae.
Construction started in March 2020 and will continue through spring and summer 2022. The Pā is scheduled to open in early 2023.
To find out more, visit The Pā Project website.