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Thursday 17 August 2017 3:10pm

Jenine Upritchard won a Faculty of Dentistry staff competition to name a huge tower crane working at the site with her suggestion "Reachie McClaw".

The huge tower crane working on the dentistry construction site has been attracting extra attention because of its name – Reachie McClaw, after Kurow-raised former All Blacks captain Ritchie McCaw.

A competition to name the 50-metre tall crane attracted 119 entries from University of Otago Faculty of Dentistry staff and students – and the winner was Compliance Manager Jenine Upritchard from the faculty's Sir John Walsh Research Institute, Dean Professor Paul Brunton says.

University of Otago staff and students who voted on the name gave Reachie a clear majority over the four other finalists Craney McCraneface, Dentosaurus, Flossy and Frasier.

Craney McCraneface is a take on Boaty McBoatface, which attracted the four times the votes of the second place-getter when the Natural Environment Research Council asked the public to help choose a name for a new polar research ship in the United Kingdom.

But the vessel ended up being named the RRS Sir David Attenborough.

In Dunedin, Leighs Cockram Joint Venture project manager Nathan Hawkins says his company gave the university the opportunity to name the crane so the Faculty of Dentistry launched a competition.

The tower crane is higher than the 37-metre tall Forsyth Barr Stadium but will still be shorter than Dunedin's tallest building – the top of First Church's spire, which is 56.3 metres above the ground (the actual building is about 10 metres below that).

The crane is helping to construct Dentistry's new Clinical Services Building (which has been colloquially known as the Dental School). It is part of the Faculty's $130 million dollar extreme makeover, aimed at creating a world-class environment for patients, students and Otago's world-class researchers.

As part of the project, the Walsh Building in front of the construction site is also being redeveloped. It will house research laboratories, academic and general staff offices, student learning spaces, student support, seminar rooms and teaching laboratories.

The Clinical Services Building is expected to be finished in September next year and the Walsh redevelopment in late 2019. The two buildings will be linked by a new 1800 square metre atrium, Mr Perry says.

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