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University Union upgrade for students

Thursday, 2 March 2017 2:48pm

University Union Operations Manager Martin Jones (left) and Cook Brothers Construction Build Team Manager Tim Reid with the new windows and the new tiles being installed at the Union.

Students are returning to a much cosier University Union on the Dunedin campus, a more welcoming first-floor outdoor terrace, and free retro video games.

One of the most obvious signs an upgrade was underway at the Union was a small digger working on the terrace during the holiday break.

But Property Services actually started the $760,000 project about a year ago, by beginning to paint all the outside parts of the building that are not brick, including the area occupied by the Otago University Students’ Association.

Contractors have also replaced the 40-year-old single glazed, wooden-framed windows in the ground-floor Main Common Room and on the terrace with double-glazed aluminium-framed windows.

Not only do they make both areas warmer in winter, but also cooler in summer because the windows open and close automatically in response to the inside temperature. However, the system can also be over-ridden manually if needed, Property Services Director Barry MacKay says.

On the outside terrace, the small digger progressively scraped up the asphalt surface and dropped it into a chute to the ground.

The contractors levelled the terrace and are now tiling it, to stop water ponding on the outdoor area that is usually filled with a host of chairs and tables.

The work is now about 95 per cent finished and should wind up next month, he says.

In addition to the renovations, a supplier has donated free retro video games to the Union Food Court this year – Space Invaders, Pacman, Moon Cresta, Frogger, Galaxian, and 1942. A sushi bar was added to the Food Court last year.