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The Spike [: or, Victoria University College Review 1957]

Accommodation Position on Completion of Science Building

Accommodation Position on Completion of Science Building

Certain portions of the Science Building are expected to be handed over to the College in time to be used at the beginning of the 1958 session; the balance will be handed over some time in that year. The 1959 session, therefore, will be the first for the whole of which the entire building will be fully in use.

The effect of the building in helping the College to meet present overcrowding will be very much smaller than one might at first sight have thought. Much of the accommodation can be used for those departments only for which it is specifically designed. Thus a chemistry laboratory, when not in use for chemistry classes, is of no use for the general arts classes. This applies to nearly all of the basement, the three chemistry floors, and much of the geology and geography accommodation. These parts of the building contain reasonable provision for the expansion of student numbers in these departments; but this will not help the general college outside of these departments.

Furthermore, some part of the space in the Science Building is merely in replacement of space which is now at the end of its useful life and which will not be available for other purposes after the Science Building is completed.

The estimation of the precise net gain produced by the Science Building for the general purposes of the college, exclusive of the departments of Chemistry, Geology and Geography, involves some elements which cannot easily be quantified. but I am satisfied that it is not understating the position to put this gain at somewhat less than one-third of the gross space of the building, i.e., somewhat less than 30,000 sq. ft. Perhaps 28.000 sq. ft. may be taken as a reasonably approximate figure.

At present the College departments, other than those being specially provided for in the Science Building, occupy approximately 110,800 sq. ft., which is used most intensively. Some measure of this intensity of use is afforded by a comparison page 7 between figures which were taken out in 1955 in relation to the accommodation for all departments as it was in 1939 and 1955. These figures were as follows:

Graph showing changes in university accommodation from 1939 to 1955

The accommodation in this present year is something under 1,000 sq. ft. (top floor of 48 Kelburn Parade) greater than in 1955. The student role will almost certainly stabilise at 2,450 and the number of staff has appreciably increased since 1955.