6 Mar 2012

Otago Uni to spend $50m on quake strengthening

6:04 pm on 6 March 2012

The University of Otago is to spend $50 million on earthquake-strengthening work on buildings at its Dunedin campus.

Many institutions in Dunedin including the Ministry of Justice, the city council and the Southern District Health Board have been assessing their buildings for risk following the devastating quakes in Canterbury.

The university has completed initial assessments on seven buildings and only one - the Scott Building - is actually classified as quake-prone.

However chief operating officer John Patrick expects further assessments around the campus to identify up to 20 buildings which will need strengthening.

"We have a building in Christchurch that was severely damaged, we've seen the impact that's had on staff morale when they can't go into their building.

"The building's still not available ... until late this year. That is creating intolerable working conditions for some of our staff in Christchurch - we don't want that to happen down here."

Mr Patrick says the money set aside is equivalent to a year's worth of the university's capital works budget and will be carried out over the next eight years.