Salient. Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 26, No. 7. Tuesday, June 18, 1963
Development Plan… — Varsity Lacks Space, Selective Entry?
Varsity Lacks Space, Selective Entry?
The University has a shortage of about 91,500 square feet of space. This is one of the facts set out in the report to Council on building and site requirements over the next 20 years. The deficiency is equivalent to 37.6% of the required space, or a building bigger than the Easter field.
In 1965 the shortage will be about 28.8 per cent of the required area. The difference, which takes into account the increased student population, will be due to the completion of the Arts and Library building.
There will be a further easing of the situation when an extension to the Kirk building is completed in 1966-67. Eventually there will be a third extension to this building (the first was in 1954) bringing the total additions to a size larger than the Chemistry block.
The most spectacular change will come in 1968, when a proposed Physics and Earth Sciences building should be completed. There will be a change from a shortage of 88,000 square feet to a surplus of 2000 square feet.
At no time will there be a shortage of classroom space. Most of the deficit is due to lack of laboratories and associated areas, staff accommodation, the Library, caretaking and maintenance facilities.
Dr. Culliford, who was responsible for much of the planning told Salient the next five years will be very difficult. It has never been New Zealand's policy to have highly selective entry to University. In this respect we resemble Canada, the USA and Australia rather than Britain.
Planning Is based on this policy, but over the next few years it may be difficult to keep to it, especially in some science subjects.
Halls of residence were also mentioned in the report. The University plans to provide 1160 residential places for men, and 760 for women. An extra 60 will also be provided for members of the academic staff.
Two major areas are proposed for these developments. One is adjacent to Weir house, where five acres of land are held by the University. The other is on a further five acres between Adams and Fairlie terraces.
Each is conceived as a complex of halls. Possibly there will be a variety of types within each, but no decision has yet been taken. The University does not necessarily demand that they all be run under its control. Provided they reach the standards laid down by the University Grants Committee, they could be run by other organisations.
No policy on mixed halls of residence yet exists. Culliford said that since there were only two in the country, the University does not know much about them. He stressed that the biggest problem was providing accommodation for women, and any decision about mixed halls would take this into account.
There is no intention of providing residential places for every student whose home is outside Wellington. First year students will be given preference.
"It is fairly easy to estimate requirements in teaching space" Culliford commented. "Halls of residence are more difficult. There are so many intangibles."
The University has long advocated the establishment of a school of Engineering at Victoria. In 1960 the University Grants Committee resolved that when next such a school was required in New Zealand, it should be built here. They said that planning should begin before 1970. The University proposes that construction begin in 1966, with a view to completion by 1969, though plans are not finalised. It is hoped that an Architecture school will be established at the same time and housed in the same building.
By 1985 this University will have 10,000 students. Culliford pointed out that there is no university anywhere of that size that does not have some sort of specialist school.
The character of either school has yet to be determined mainly because there are no engineers here. The University has therefore asked for the opportunity to carry out a fairly thorough investigation of possible subjects to be taught.
The report also considers the questions of staff and student amenities, and points out that substantial expansion of the existing facilities of the SUB will be necessary. This will not be achieved by the construction of the third floor. The report says that though the SUB already occupies one acre, by 1985 a further acre will be necessary. The report is vague on how this would be done.
Expansion on a similar scale will be required for the Gymnasium, and an entire new building will probably be built. There would probably be specialisation, rather than duplication of facilities.
Boyd Wilson field is already inadequate, and by 1985. a further 25 acres of playing fields will be needed.
The requirements for parking space are expected to grow to about 14 acres in 1985. This is based on 1.10 student; car ratio, and a 1.2 staff; car ratio. The report points out that while these figures are justified at present, they could change. At the University of Minnesota, for example, parking is provided so that every second person can run a car.
The amount of land required will be substantial. The report says that 103 acres of fiat land would be needed to expand the University to its planned size. This is just five times the present area.