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Students are future-proofing tertiary education in Central Otago.

The Otago Polytechnic Central Campus construction students are building the campus’ new administration block.

The admin block the students built. The new administration block at the Otago Polytechnic Central Campus in Cromwell is being put up by construction students. PHOTO: SHANNON THOMSON

The build forms the practical component of their certificate in construction skills, a one-year pre-trade course.

Construction lecturer Nigel Lowe said the decision to involve the students was an easy one.

“[The admin block] was needed to meet the needs of our campus growth, but [the build] also met the needs of the outcomes for our learners.”

After initial delays with consents, construction began on the site four months ago.

Student Rajeev Sharma said he had enjoyed the experience of building the admin block. PHOTO: SHANNON THOMSON

The nationwide shortage of building supplies followed by the Level 4 lockdown had caused further delays, but it had been a good demonstration for students of the need to be flexible, Mr Lowe said.

The course was due to finish at the end of this month, but Mr Lowe hoped to have it pushed back to give the students more time.

Some students were keen to stay on to continue the build after they finished the course.

Any unfinished work would be completed by contractors, he said.

Construction student Kauen Coleman at work on the administration building. PHOTO: SHANNON THOMSON

Construction student Kauen Coleman (19) is one of six students working on the admin building.

He said it was “quite cool” to be building something permanent.

“I’m actually quite excited to see it finished,” he said.

Rajeev Sharma (59) said the whole experience had been “ecstatic”.

“Of course, I’m very happy to be here.”

17-year-old Connor Campbell said he enjoyed building something lasting. PHOTO: SHANNON THOMSON