The University of Canterbury has agreed to award a contract to Fletcher Construction to carry out the construction of stage one of its Regional Science and Innovation Centre (RSIC).
The overall RSIC project will provide 25,000 square metres of new accommodation for the College of Science across two buildings, with a total project budget of $216 million.
The first and larger building will be 20,000 square metres, due for completion in mid-2017. The building has been designed to be earthquake resilient, using a braced engineering solution.
The centre will provide teaching spaces such as state-of-the-art research laboratories and support facilities. The new facilities will provide teaching, research and support space for five of the seven departments or schools – namely the School of Biological Sciences, the departments of Chemistry, Geography, Geological Sciences and Physics and Astronomy.
At peak construction, around 300 tradespeople will be working on the site. The peak time is around the fit-out period with many trades on site (electricians, carpenters and painters).
Secondary school students from Christchurch and further afield will be able to access certain facilities to support NCEA level study in topics such as radiation and genetics.
Science teaching at Canterbury will be cutting edge. This will be supported by state-of-the-art audio-visual and laboratory equipment in teaching environments which best facilitate a blended learning approach which will draw on a mix of modern face-to-face teaching methods, individual and small group investigative laboratory learning, on-line learning and independent learning through individual effort and group work.
The RSIC has been made possible from the University’s own resources and support of up to $260 million from government. Vice-Chancellor Dr Rod Carr says.
“Future students can look forward to having modern, open science facilities. Well-designed spaces can make a huge difference to engagement and learning outcomes.
“Such spaces also encourage collaboration and the transfer of ideas through casual interactions amongst academic and technical staff and students, both within and across disciplines—such interdisciplinary collaboration will be needed to solve complex problems such as responding to climate change, ensuring the sustainable use of resources, developing advanced materials, creating bio-mechanical devices and so on.
“The new science facilities should help to improve students’ learning experiences and to equip them to tackle such important future problems, as well as to thrive in modern collaborative workplaces. Modern facilities will naturally attract students, but also the improved outreach ability that science at Canterbury will have will strengthen connections with local schools.
“This should expose some young people to the excitement of science when they might not have had the opportunity otherwise, and perhaps it will even encourage them to pursue science at university. The new facilities will be designed to encourage collaboration with industry. This will be an important component of making graduates more employable and fostering innovation in the region.
“When completed, the University of Canterbury will have some of the best science facilities in the southern hemisphere. The campus environment will provide a truly inspiring experience for all our students and staff. The RSIC is a unique opportunity to develop its science learning and teaching in new directions which will increase the employability of our science graduates.”
Previous Updates about RSIC
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