Passers-by in King St can see the start of construction, but amidst a city full of earthquake strengthening and roadworks, this project is unique.
Gibbons, a property investment firm from Nelson, has purchased PSA House and will soon launch construction on a complete interior refurbishment.
The building will transform PSA House into a modern, adaptable HealthCare and Social Services Centre for UCOL, where the practical courses for nursing, medical imaging, social services, and mental health education will be taught.
“It’s a significant investment, which will help us better support the growing number of learners who are interested in health and social fields,” says Brian Trott, UCOL Chief Financial Officer.
“This update has been part of our strategic planning for some time, and extensive planning has gone into it. We’re thrilled to have Gibbons sign on and work with us to make it a reality.”
UCOL’s Exec Dean of Health, Social Services & Applied Sciences, Penny O’Leary, is excited for students and staff as the facility will provide more options for practical teaching and learning.
“We’re seeing more and more interest from learners wanting to develop their skills in healthcare and social services, including mental health support. Our graduates want to help those in need in our community. This construction will better reflect the environments that learners will one day be working in, helping build their work-readiness so they can jump straight in.”
“We started this project with strong industry support, with our partners acknowledging that this sector is vital to our region’s economy, both as a priority growth area and as the biggest contributor to earnings in the region. There’s a need for more training and upskilling the workforce, and our new facility will play a big part in supporting our local employers and community.”
Gibbons CEO, Joe Scragg, said the Nelson family business is in the process of diversifying their property holdings around the country. The opportunity to invest in Palmerston North alongside UCOL as a key education provider in the region was an exciting opportunity that “ticked all the right boxes”.
“With construction commencing on-site in late January, we’re looking forward to being able to open the new Centre just before Christmas this year,” adds Trott.
Photo: An architect’s mock-up of the future Centre.