Multi-million dollar makeover for engineering
The Faculty of Engineering is to undergo a multi-million dollar redevelopment, which includes the creation of high-tech laboratories, a new engineering research facility and the expansion of an existing building.
The upgrade, which is estimated to cost $216 million and take four years to complete, is on a similar scale to the construction of the Owen G. Glenn Building, which houses the Business School, and the redevelopment of the Faculty of Medical and Health Science’s Grafton Campus.
The University Council, the University’s governing body, approved the redevelopment programme on Monday 16 April.
As part of the redevelopment engineering buildings 403 and 404 at 20 Symonds Street will be completely refurbished and extended by several floors creating 5,000 m² more useable space. This will allow the Departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) and Engineering Science to relocate back to 20 Symonds Street and free up space for the Faculty of Science, where ECE is currently located.
The Ray Meyer Building at the Tāmaki Innovation Campus is also being refurbished, and adjacent to it a new engineering research facility is to be built -providing an additional 5,000 m² of space for large scale research projects.
Faculty of Engineering Dean Professor Michael Davies says the redevelopment will transform the faculty’s teaching and research facilities and benefit the entire University.
“The building programme will bring two departments back to the heart of the faculty and create state-of-the-art teaching and learning spaces as well as providing facilities for research that are of an internationally -leading standard.
“All of this will be within an environment that has been designed to encourage interactions between students and staff from different disciplines. This will strengthen the collegiality that has always been a strong feature of the faculty and encourage interdisciplinary research,” says Professor Davies.
The Council's approval recognises that the faculty has grown substantially since its current buildings were constructed, mainly in the late 1960s, and that many of the current facilities are outdated and inadequate, he says.
“It also recognises that there is continuing strong demand for engineering graduates and that the faculty has been very successful in growing its postgraduate numbers and external research income, particularly in recent years,” says Professor Davies.
The University of Auckland’s Director of Property Services Peter Fehl says the building programme at the Tāmaki Innovation Campus is expected to commence in the next few months while the refurbished and extended buildings 403 and 404 on the City Campus will be completed in time to be occupied for the start of the 2016 academic year.