Student Union president Alvis Chan Ngok-lam welcomed the decision and said most students supported the idea to redevelop the building due to safety concerns. The school had consulted students and staff on three proposals, with the other two being to restore the original structure or to add an extra floor.
But Chan was concerned about the lack of sporting facilities for students while the new centre was being built, which would mean they would have to use public venues.
Lee acknowledged the situation was not ideal, but added the university had other locations for students to exercise, including a sports centre it jointly owned near Baptist University.
The vice president also said that the university was still in discussions with lawyers about the roof collapse and would take action against the contractor at an appropriate time.
On an academic issue, the executive director of the university’s school of veterinary medicine, Dr Howard Wong Kai-hay, said about 600 applicants were fighting for 10 to 15 places on its self-financed six-year undergraduate course in veterinary medicine. The programme, the first of its kind in the city, starts in the next academic year.
The Education Bureau had said the university should recruit students only after it had met the initial requirements of an international accreditation body.
The university said it was working towards meeting the standard set by the Australasian Veterinary Boards Council and was expected to gain complete accreditation when the first students graduated in 2023.
Kuo also announced that the school was looking to buy a farm in the New Territories with a year that would be the home for cows to produce “CityU milk”. Lee said it could provide opportunities for learning for veterinary and life sciences students.