Scion’s new labs officially opened

31 October 2012

Today, the Minister of Science and Innovation, Hon Steven Joyce, officially opened a $5.5 million laboratory refurbishment at Scion’s Rotorua campus.

The project involved the reconstruction and refurbishment of a block of laboratories built in 1969, and largely unchanged since then.

Scion CEO Dr Warren Parker says this project is the largest building modernisation undertaken by Scion for many years.

“High quality facilities and equipment are vital to the success of a science organisation, and this investment ensures we continue the efficient delivery of good science to the forest industry,” he explains.

“We’re very proud of these world-class laboratories. They enhance the stimulating workplace environment enjoyed here at Scion, and I expect they will help us attract top researchers to Rotorua.”

At the short opening ceremony the Minister unveiled a plaque that named the refurbished block “The Orman Wing” after the late Roy Orman who led forest products research at the Forest Research Institute from 1950 to 1980.

When Roy Orman retired as Director of the Forest Products Division of the Forest Research Institute (FRI) in 1980 he had completed 42 years of service. His legacy was the development of a world-class wood products research organisation in New Zealand.

Roy’s daughter Ann and son Richard attended the opening and said they were blown away by this honour to their dad.

Building work started in January this year and finished in late August with installation of specialist science equipment throughout the 1500 sq m laboratory area.

“We had a great team working on this project, both internally and externally. Their combined expertise and professionalism resulted in a project that was completed in time and on budget. I congratulate them all for the outstanding facility they have given us,” said Dr Parker.

The main contractors were RDT Pacific (project managers), LabWorks (architects), and Watts & Hughes Construction.