SIT plans for more city apartments
Author: Petrina Wright - The Southland Express
Date posted: 20/07/12
The Southern Institute of Technology (SIT) is expanding its accommodation facilities for overseas students, with plans to build more apartments in the central city able to house over a hundred students.
SIT now owns the recently renovated Aachen Motel (renamed SIT Apartments) on Yarrow Street, a couple of houses on Tay Street and leases the Grand Hall of Residence (previously the Grand Hotel) catering for about 115 students.
SIT chief executive Penny Simmonds said the polytechnic had filed resource and building consents to expand the SIT Apartments on Yarrow Street. Subject to receiving council approval, building work would begin in October with the aim of having the new apartments ready for occupation early next year.
In addition to the Yarrow Street expansion, SIT was planning to develop the Shiny Paua Motel on Spey Street and three villas adjoining the property, she said.
Building work on the Spey Street site was scheduled to begin during the middle of next year, again subject to building and resource consents being approved, Ms Simmonds said.
Eventually the Shiny Paua Motel would be demolished and replaced with apartments, she said.
The completion of both developments on Spey and Yarrow streets would create an additional 155 beds to accommodate the increase in international students attending SIT, she said.
SIT international manager Sam Mackay said about 500 international students were studying at SIT, and the polytechnic hoped to increase that number to 1000 across all its campuses by 2015.
The proposed apartments would have one or two bedrooms, a large living area, kitchen, and bathroom with shared laundry facilities, he said.
Following a Government directive, SIT was required to provide suitable accommodation facilities for its overseas students, many of whom brought their families with them, he said.
In December 2011, Ms Simmonds stated she had discussed the possibility of taking over the Kelvin Hotel, on the corner of Esk and Kelvin streets to use as further student accommodation with the Invercargill Licensing Trust (ILT).
"I believe as far as ILT are concerned, it is still a possible option in the future," Ms Simmonds said.
SIT’s lease with the Grand Hall of Residence would run out in 18 months and whether SIT renewed that lease would depend on a number of factors including demand and the state of the building, she said.