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The government is committing $107.5 million to rebuilding science teaching and research facilities destroyed at Lincoln University during the Canterbury earthquakes, as part of a broader plan to create a science research and teaching hub involving several Crown Research Institutes and Dairy NZ as well as the university on the campus on the plains outside of Christchurch.
Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce announced the commitment, which is "contingent on the university fully integrating its new facilities with the other major partners in the new Lincoln Hub."
"The rebuild of the university, together with the existing campus development plans of the crown research institutes located at Lincoln, means we have a unique, once in a generation opportunity to combine the physical operations of all these entities in one integrated campus serving 900 scientists, students, and industry," Joyce said.
"I have made it a condition of sign-off for the development plans of all the hub partners that they fully integrate their development plans to the benefit of all parties and New Zealand as a whole, and I look forward to seeing that confirmed before final approvals for construction are given."
The future of the university, New Zealand's smallest, has been the subject of doubt in recent years, even before the quake damage that cost Lincoln more than 40 percent of its academic floor space. The rebuild will involve demolishing the badly damaged Hilgendorf and Burns buildings, and replacing them with modern facilities, with building scheduled to start in the second half of 2015 for completion in 2018/19.
The Lincoln Hub is intended as an incubator for research, innovation and wealth creation in the agricultural sector.