A new $4.5 million Health, Education and Social Sciences building is to be built at Whitireia Community Polytechnic in Porirua to provide permanent accommodation for its largest faculty. Chief Executive Don Campbell says plans are close to being finalised for the two-storey building, which will house classrooms, staff offices, meeting rooms and the administration services for the faculty. It will house the polytechnic’s nursing, paramedic, early childhood education, and community and social work courses.
The building is being designed by Athfield Architects, who were responsible for the polytechnic’s award-winning Te Kete Wānanga library and learning centre.
Don Campbell says he expects construction will start later this year and be finished by June 2008. He says faculty staff and students are at present housed in prefabricated buildings spread around the campus. "The new building will allow us to bring the focus of the faculty into once place. Our programmes are world class and deserve to be housed in permanent buildings." he says.
The new Health, Education and Social Sciences building will be constructed near the Wi Neera Drive main entrance to polytechnic close to an existing lecture theatre. Some of the prefabs and car parking will be relocated and there will be alterations to the main entrance.
The building marks the relaunch of the polytechnic’s building programme, which had been on hold because of uncertainty over committing funds. But Don Campbell says the buildings are urgently needed and would be funded from reserves. "We hope there may be some additional assistance from Government once the Campus Master plan is finalised."
Also planned is an 'Atrium Project' to provide a large, covered gathering space for 1000 people. Whitireia does not have a large auditorium for conferences, meetings or graduations and has had to use community facilities and split its graduations into smaller ceremonies.