Wednesday, 30 August 2017 14:55

Work starts on $206m campus

Written by  Nigel Malthus
An architect’s render of one of the labs to be incorporated in the new building. An architect’s render of one of the labs to be incorporated in the new building.

A ground breaking ceremony at Lincoln University has marked the start of work on the $206 million new joint facility to house AgResearch and Lincoln University researchers, students and staff.

The Minister of Tertiary Education, Paul Goldsmith, joined AgResearch chief executive Tom Richardson, Lincoln University chancellor Steve Smith, vice-chancellor Robin Pollard and Selwyn MP Amy Adams wielding spades on the site, formerly occupied by the quake-damaged Hilgendorf complex.

The 27,000 sq.m building will house about 300 AgResearch staff including its corporate headquarters, a similar number of Lincoln University staff and about 75 DairyNZ staff.

Parts of it will be complete in 2019 and the remainder in 2020.

The Burns Wing, standing on the Springs Road side of the site, has yet to be demolished to make way for the new building.

The facility will be jointly owned by AgResearch and the university with DairyNZ as a tenant.

It has been planned around the concept of bringing together staff from the disparate organisations, as well as Lincoln students, in a collaborative environment to enhance agricultural science and education.

“The connections forged inside this facility are going to mean a new era of top quality science and impact for agriculture, which will in turn mean more prosperous communities across New Zealand,” says AgResearch chief executive Tom Richardson.

“It is also going to be a huge drawcard for the smartest minds to join in our research and keep us at the cutting edge.”

Lincoln University chancellor Steve Smith called it an historic day.

“The opportunity for Lincoln University – one which we intend to seize – is to unleash the potential inherent in having our teachers and students working alongside and partnering with the leading-edge scientists from AgResearch, other CRIs and industry.”

“The real power in learning and research comes from proximity: human relationships, being in the same space, chance conversations and the synergies observed between different academic and scientific disciplines,” Smith said.

Vice-chancellor Dr Robin Pollard called the building a means to an end.

“What really matters is to have staff students and colleagues in the CRIs to come together and work together though collaboration in ways that improve the outcomes.

“Lincoln is multidisciplinary but many of those people have not been involved in AgResearch-type projects, so the nature of research will change as well, I think,” said Pollard.

“My plan for Lincoln is to be completely open to collaboration.”

The project has been closely linked to the Lincoln Hub concept through the planning stages but is not being officially described as the hub building. Pollard referred to confusion about naming the facility.

The Lincoln Hub company, a joint venture between Lincoln University, AgResearch, Landcare Research, Plant & Food Research and DairyNZ, is already in operation as a facilitator and co-ordinator of joint projects, but Pollard said it would not “immediately” be a tenant in the new building.

More like this

Cows part of the solution

New Lincoln University pastoral livestock production lab research is defining how to get the maximum benefit from cows predisposed to urinate nitrogen (N), resulting in less leaching to waterways.

Lincoln launches new research

Three new farming systems are being implemented to expand Lincoln University Dairy Farm’s (LUDF) focus and extend its outlook through to 2030.

Keeping an eye out for water-logged paddocks

Surface ponding water is the factor that has the most effect on cows' lying time - and hence animal welfare - in winter grazing paddocks, says DairyNZ senior scientist Dawn Dalley.

Start recording your fert usage

Farmers need to start now keeping accurate and detailed records of their fertiliser use to meet new pastoral nitrogen limits, says Ravensdown’s Phil Barlow.

National

Why should we do more?

OPINION: Managing our dairy sector's impacts inevitably attracts a range of views. Should we do more, less or stay the…

Cattle sale with a difference

Innovation, loss and resilience have brought the Singh family to the point where it is poised to honour its patriarch,…

O'Connor's overseas odyssey

Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor continued his overseas odyssey in the past week with multiple meetings in the US, Europe and…

Machinery & Products

Protective tint

Now available in New Zealand, Wildcat Static Cling Tint adds a protective layer to the windows of your tractor, harvester…

New owner for stoll

German company Stoll, the well-known manufacturer of tractor front loaders and attachments that claims to be the second largest producer…

Fert spreaders get a revamp

Kuhn has updated its MDS range of fertiliser spreaders, giving farmers more options to upgrade machines as situations change, rather…

Mowers spring into action

With spring upon us, thoughts turn towards shutting up paddocks for conservation and maybe the purchase of new machinery to…

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

Milking It

Feeling the heat

US dairy farmers have a new threat to their business - heat waves.

Class action

The news has gone from bad to worse for a2 Milk - the company Synlait had hitched its wagon to.

» Connect with Dairy News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter