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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume. 34, Number 15. August 4, 1971

Long-Term Plans

Long-Term Plans

Any immediate developments, such as those described above, should be in harmony with the wider overall building plans for the future. Ideally long-term development should be reconciliable with the previous short-term provements.

The 1962-85 Report refers to the land fronting the western side of Wai-te-ata Road (i.e. in the vicinity of the seaward side of R.B.) as being ideally suited to the needs an indoor swimming pool Such a pool could be erected on this site as fundamental part of a new Union complex in which recreational, social, service and other facilities are combined.

"At present the facilities for physical recreation are somewhat isolated from the rest of the university including the Union and although the situation will improve as in time the centre of gravity of the university moves south, it will improve even more if some of the sports facilities can be housed under the same roof as other Union type facilities, and if the Gymnasium(s) can be assimilated into the circulatory systems of the University, so that pedestrians may flow through as well as past buildings housing recreational facilities At best there should be ease of movement from places of work to places of recreation (including refreshment) and at least there should be easy and comfortable access linking all the Union buildings..." [3] These few lines by Alan Laidler concisely sum up the plan which has been labelled "taking the gym to the union" by university authorities. The plan shown with this article illustrates the concept in its entirety, and offers a glimpse of the university in the (distant) future. One can see that this long-range plan is designed in such a way that construction can proceed stage by stage, and so the problem of finance is spread and can be overcome comparatively easily. It is an ambitious plan, but an imaginative and exciting one which conforms to the idea that any further building on the campus must be such that it fits into the architectural pattern already established. Haphazard planning in the past has led to Victoria being termed "the worst architectural square mile in New Zealand!".

[unclear: s] present the Gymnasium has lettle to commend it aesthetically, yet it occupies a prominent position. Much could be done architecturally, if the building were extended, to improve appearances with the execution of a unified plan for the whole of that area between the present union and the present gymnasium.

This long-term plan proves for:

(i) Swimming Pool

This is the first and most important priority. Such a pool would be heated, and have associated change rooms etc. There is a singular shortage of pools in Wellington, and though an Olympic sized one would be ideal, it is' not absolutely necessary. Swimming is a popular sport among students generally, both from the social point of view and from its therapeutic values, and such a pool would greatly enhance Victoria's sporting facilities, (Previously swimming activities have been carried out at the Thorndon Pool). This pool would be used both for learning and for competition purposes, and would be available to outside groups for use. Because of Wellington's weather and the fact that the University term does not include most of the summer season it is commonsense that the pool be so placed, indoors, and heated, in order to get full use from it.

(ii) A rifle (cum archery, cum cricket, cum golf) range:

It can be seen that the plan also allows for the establishment of a complex such as this one. Shooting in particular has always produced strong representation from Victoria and is also a sport where women and those with physical disabiliites can participate on equal terms. If the area so provided was large enough it could be used for cricket, archery and golf practices. Supplementary to the normal outdoor activities of these sports. (Sports such as golf are seriously hampered by having to use the gym as it is now, for practice.) The same room could also house table tennis.

(iii) Squash Centre:

As shown in a previous issue of Salient, even with the existence of the John Reid Squash Courts so close to the campus, and their heavy patronage, members of the University should have their own courts available for use.

(iv) Included in this construction plan is a cluster of smaller buildings (designed to offset architectually the Rankine Brown building and this new recreational complex) all linked together and seeing the various needs of Student Welfare services.

(v) Multi-purpose areas and associated changing rooms etc are all included in this "tentative concept" Interspersed with the many sports facilities are facilities for cultural pursuits such as music, drama, painting, pottery, coffee-drinking and so on.

This plan then, allows for a bringing-together of the various cultural and sporting i.e. recreational, pursuits of any student body. Its joining together such aspects of university life as the library, administration area, and so on, as well as these pursuits, is talented and far-reaching planning, (covered ways would be used to link external buildings to this complex: such covered ways are used extensively at the Universities of Auckland and Islum, where they have proved ideal in rapid, weather-proof communication). This "linking together" is the best characteristic of this plan, which again must be stressed is stricktly long-term and tentative.