NEWS

$80m Fiji National University Campus To Be ‘Hub Of Labasa’

Contracts for the construction of phase one of the much anticipated Fiji National University (FNU) Labasa campus will be signed by the end of this month. This was confirmed by
24 Jan 2018 15:05
$80m Fiji National University Campus To Be ‘Hub Of Labasa’
The first phase work of the Fiji National University campus at Naiyaca Subdivision in Labasa. Photo: Shratika Naidu

Contracts for the construction of phase one of the much anticipated Fiji National University (FNU) Labasa campus will be signed by the end of this month.

This was confirmed by FNU Vice Chancellor Professor Nigel Healey who said they planned to begin construction in the next couple of months.

Professor Healey said the project was a major one which was made possible with the assistance of Government.

“The Government gave us quite a significant block of land just adjacent to the river and because that was a flood plain area the first thing we had to do was to build a raised platform, the size of several football fields so that we were raising the land above the maximum level of flood which is probably about two metres,” Professor Healey said.

“That was quite a major civil engineering work which took place in 2016 and needed to then take time to compact before we could start construction.”

He said the engineering works involved the construction of a retaining wall around the construction area.

“We have a plan for a series of buildings starting with Building A that is the one we are about to start construction on,” he said.

“Building A is a kind of combined teaching and administration building that will have three major lecture theatres, about 18 major classrooms, some offices and science laboratories with a target capacity of about 1000 students.”

Professor Healey said the project was a 30-month build as it included state of the art ICT facilities which would be a significant resource for the Labasa community.

“This will become the new hub in Labasa. It is quite an exciting project and we are in the process of appointing an academic head of campus who can work with local communities and local employers to decide the range of courses and programmes that are needed in the region to support both agriculture and tourism trades.”

He said the first phase would cost an approximate $30million, and the complete project will have a total of eight buildings with a price tag of close to $80million.

“We are sequencing the construction in a way that we will move into the next phase as enrolments build. In the next phase we are looking at a National Training and Productivity Centre, a dedicated building to support in-service training and in due course we will put in an administration block and then purpose some of the offices in building A as teaching space.

“We are doing it in phases partly to spread the cost and partly because as we invest in the buildings… our student numbers will gradually increase and fill the space we have got and then we will need to expand the space.”

Edited by Mohammed Zulfikar

Feedback:  fonua.talei@fijisun.com.fj



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