Students returning to campus for Semester 2 celebrated more than just getting back to a ‘new normal’ student life.
A vibrant and bustling new student hub, comprising a café, mini-theatre, modern comfortable seating areas, workspaces, a garden courtyard and much more, awaited them on their arrival back to campus on 13 July.
Despite the impact of COVID-19, Lincoln remained focused and on track in completing a major transformation of the ground floor of its George Forbes Building, concluding a journey that began in 2010 when the September earthquake forced the closure of the Student Union Building.
The layout of the new ground floor space, aptly named ‘Grounded’, was heavily influenced by student feedback during a comprehensive process of consultation and participation, and now reflects the particular needs and preferences of a world-class student experience.
Grounded was officially launched at a grand opening celebration at 2pm on Friday 31 July, where the Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector Hon Poto Williams formally opened the space. The University, together with the Lincoln Students’ Association (LUSA), hosted an on-site party for students after the formalities.
Acting Vice-Chancellor Professor Bruce McKenzie said Lincoln was uniquely positioned to be able to reshape and revamp the campus environment after the devastation of the earthquakes.
“Grounded was designed by students for students with the support of Te Taumutu Rūnanga, and the new all-inclusive social space represents both our heritage and our future.
“Students are at the heart of our campus and the core of everything we do at Lincoln. We’re immensely proud to provide them with this energising environment where they can meet, socialise, work, forge new friendships and enjoy an experience that will help set them up for a lifetime of achievement.”
LUSA President Sam Blackmore said the new student-centric zone was “jam-packed and absolutely buzzing.”
“The students are loving being back on campus, and the new space provides the perfect mix of areas for relaxation and recreation, but also places to work and collaborate with others.”
The Grounded student spaces are part of a wider campus development programme for Lincoln that includes the construction of two new fit-for-future science buildings, an extensive upgrade of the Sport and Recreation Centre and visionary landscaping projects that will enhance the vibrancy of the park-like campus and promote a positive learning, research and community-focused environment.
Read more about the Campus Development Programme here.