Issue 7: 25 April 2008

aerial-view-of-the-campus-1970s
Aerial view of the campus, 1970s (work underway on the Human Sciences Building)

Extracts from ‘Way clear now for our new university’, Auckland Star, 16 October 1963, p. 24, University of Auckland, History Series. Papers. MSS & Archives E-8, box 5, folder 1. Special Collections, University of Auckland Library.

For about 10 years Auckland University literally did not know where it was going. But for the past two years its future has been clear. It may seem to the man in the street that not much had been done in those two years to create in Princes Street the fine new university in permanent materials that Auckland has been promised.

Four years ago, the Auckland University Council put an end to all disputes as far as it was concerned about the location for the new university. We shall stay in Princes Street it said. But more time was lost after that while the Auckland City Council tried to legally upset this decision. Then, on August 30 1960, the last obstacle for the use of Princes Street was removed when the Town and Council Planning Appeal Board ruled that this area should be set aside for the university.

One permanent building has been erected already, the ₤170,000 fine arts block of 38,000 square feet. The way is now clear for the second permanent building,the 345,000 square ft science block.

The end of next year should see the completion of plans for the 120,000 sq ft engineering school. Construction of this will begin in June 1964. Tenders for the new library of 93,000 sq ft should be called about the middle of 1964. Work should begin before the end of that year and the library will be ready for use in 1967.

A medical school is envisaged as part of the new Auckland University. The university council and the senate support the establishment of a medical school here, providing existing claims for other buildings are not interfered with. A site in the Park Road areas is proposed for this, and has been asked for. The Grants Committee is expected to reply before the end of this year.

The total university area in the Princes Street region (exclusive of the medical school) will be 47 acres when the Government House grounds are made over to the university. Much of this land has already been purchased under a plan whereby old houses in the area have been bought and converted to provide temporary lecture rooms or studies.

For the next 10 years the University will be in the throes of a building programme costing more than ₤1 million a year, but in that time thousands of students will have to complete their studies in cramped conditions.