Celebrations for new University of Waikato Student Centre

Press Release – Waikato University

The new University of Waikato Student Centre was officially opened yesterday in a two-part celebration to mark the occasion. Governor-General Lt Gen the Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, a Waikato alumnus, officially opened the multifunctional facility …10 November, 2011

Two-part celebrations to mark opening of new University of Waikato Student Centre

The new University of Waikato Student Centre was officially opened yesterday in a two-part celebration to mark the occasion.

Governor-General Lt Gen the Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, a Waikato alumnus, officially opened the multifunctional facility on 9 November.

The University of Waikato Student Centre will be the social heart of the campus with places to meet, cafés, shops and relaxation spaces, and a central point for student services on campus.

About 150 people attended the opening, including representatives from the university, industry and the community.

University of Waikato Vice-Chancellor Professor Roy Crawford says the opening of the Student Centre is a significant occasion for the university.

“The conception and completion of this building is another demonstration of our commitment to the delivery of a world-class education while providing our students with a dynamic university experience.”

University Chancellor Jim Bolger and Waikato Student Union president Deni Tokunai also spoke on behalf of the university.

At dawn, a blessing ceremony was held to lift the tapu from the Student Centre which also saw the unveiling of Aurei – a sculpture specially made to stand at the main entrance of the Student Centre.

Sculpted by New Zealand artist and Waikato alumnus Rangi Kipa, Aurei represents a famous proverbial saying from King Pōtatau, the first Māori king: There is but one eye of the needle through which the white, black and red threads must pass.

The sculpture suggests the spirit of unity and the common pursuit of knowledge and understanding, symbolically tying people, relationships, kaupapa and ideologies together.

The $30 million Student Centre project, which has taken three years to complete, has seen the university’s library updated and expanded.

Last year, it was awarded a prestigious 5 Green Star rating from the New Zealand Green Building Council, the first five-star project in the Waikato region. It also won the Best Use Of Glass Award in the Window Association of New Zealand’s Design Flair Awards held in June.

The 5 Green Star rating recognises the environmental and sustainable features of the Student Centre design which include photovoltaic panels, self-monitoring lighting and energy efficient heating systems.

ENDS

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