Students sing the praises of new O House accommodation

News News & events

11 Apr 2017

Students have moved into the third and final additional to Ara of Institute of Canterbury’s Te whare o Ōtautahi/Ōtautahi House student accommodation development, and are enjoying living next to their campus and right in the middle of the city.

“The new blocks are awesome. I moved in at the start of the year and they are so brand new,” Ara National Academy of Singing and Dramatic Arts student Danielle Rackham said. “Now with the new blocks we have 120 more beds, which brings a more social element to living here but it also means people aren’t having to take transport in every day.”

Developed by the Ōtautahi Education Development Trust, which owns the buildings and leases them to Ara for use by full time students, the new blocks are on St Asaph St opposite the City Campus Christchurch. The new blocks add 120 beds to the existing 72 beds and will be officially opened on Monday 10 April at 2pm.

Kay Giles, Chief Executive of Ara, instigated the development to provide more accommodation choice to students, particularly those from overseas, Ōtautahi Education Development Trust Chair Mike Newcombe said.

“Kay Giles was the one who had the vision,” Mike said. “The Otautahi Trustees responded to that opportunity and completed the buildings. They were completed on time and on budget, which is a credit to construction company Hawkins and Inovo Project Management. We think the buildings are a credit to everyone involved.”

Each ‘O House’ resident has their own room with a desk, bed and wardrobe. Communal lounges, kitchens, showers and toilets are arranged around 36 secure apartment hubs. Pastoral support is provided through the Ara Student Support Office.

Two buildings were opened on 18 January and the third was made available on 1 April. Spaces are still available and students who are enrolling for mid-year programmes are now applying for accommodation in the third new block. Two flats are also accessible for students with disabilities, providing 10 potential beds.

Proximity to campus and facilities are a drawcard. The accommodation is close to supermarkets, a chemist and public transport, and is only a short walk from Christchurch’s unique features, such as vibrant street art, galleries, nightlife, cafes and innovative community projects such as the Otakaro Orchard and many others.

“I would highly recommend coming to O House, even just for the social element. You’re right in the middle of town; you can’t get any better than this,” Danielle added.

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