There’s a new residential college going up by Emerson’s brewery, in case you’ve been wondering what all the dramatic scaffolding is for. Te Rangihīroa College is set to be operational by semester two, 2023.
Chief Operating Officer Stephen Willis told Critic that the college will house 450 breathas (not the term he used). “It will replace the existing 125-bed college of the same name which sits on land earmarked for the new Dunedin Hospital.” The building was registered by the New Zealand Green Building Council, which means that it will be “a truly sustainable building.” We were curious to know if this meant that students would be asked to piss in the sink to save water, but we didn’t ask.
The college’s name is in recognition of Te Rangihīroa, the University’s first Māori graduate. “The name was gifted by his family for use by the University when the existing college opened in 2014,” said Stephen. “The new college will incorporate cultural design elements developed with input from Te Rangihīroa’s Ngāti Mutunga iwi and local Ngāi Tahu throughout the design process.”
Teams have been working around the clock, including weekends, to keep up with schedule. The Auckland lockdown has made sourcing building materials tricky, but the “structural steel erection” is set to begin this week. Again, we were curious to know if that was a euphemism, but didn’t ask. We suspect that there are many structural steel erections in Dunedin, and are excited to watch this one grow from a safe, but not-quite-voyeuristic distance.
The college is also located right across the road from the Gregg’s coffee factory, well-known amongst students for the particular odour that it belches out a few times per week. This will provide a new olfactory backdrop for the fresher experience. Although, whatever stench may permeate the shiny new building may not be stronger than the smell of some of the residents' rooms.