Commencement of superstructure work marks a new milestone for the Jockey Club One Health Tower
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A ceremony held on 2 March at City University of Hong Kong (CityU) marked the commencement of the superstructure work for the Jockey Club One Health Tower (the Tower). Equipped with first-class facilities, the Tower signifies a new milestone in CityU’s unique mission to promote multidisciplinary collaboration that can enhance the health of humans, animals and the environment under the One Health paradigm. The ceremony took place via live streaming to minimise face-to-face gatherings and ensure that Covid-19 precautionary measures were fully observed.
CityU obtained enormous support from the community at large, in particular the $500-million donation in 2017 from The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, which is the largest single donation ever received by the University.
A total of $2.3 billion has been invested on this self-financed state-of-the-art building for enhancing our academic and research capabilities in related fields and building new sports facilities. The Tower is expected to be completed in 2023, the shortest construction time for comparable large superstructure work among the academic buildings of Hong Kong universities. Upon completion, it will provide first-class teaching and research facilities for the Jockey Club College of Veterinary Medicine and Life Sciences and other units at CityU.
The officiating guests at the ceremony were Mr Philip N L Chen, Chairman of The Hong Kong Jockey Club; Mr Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, the Club’s Chief Executive Officer; Mr Lester Garson Huang, Chairman of the CityU Council; and President Way Kuo of CityU.
Mr Chen said that in the wake of SARS the Club funded the establishment of the Centre for Health Protection which has been in the news for the last year or so. “During this Covid-19 pandemic, the Club has funded a billion Hong Kong dollars for immediate relief measures and resilience building for the society,” he said. “With this new building and College, I am sure that together we can make Hong Kong more prepared for future crises and public health concerns.”
Mr Huang thanked the Club for supporting the CityU community over the years. “CityU shares with the Club the notion that our mission is to improve the living standards and social well-being of the Hong Kong people,” he said. “The Tower will become a unique hub, contributing to the sustainable development of Hong Kong and the region in the fields of biological science and veterinary medicine.”
President Kuo pointed out how CityU had achieved a head start in 2008 by committing to developing veterinary medicine education in Hong Kong and advocating research on food safety and zoonoses. “As the Covid-19 epidemic rages around the world, the first-class research teams at CityU will continue to lead the academic community to solve fundamental problems under the One Health concept, enabling it to become a leading university in veterinary medicine and life sciences in the region”, he said.
Also attending the launch ceremony was Dr Simon Ip Sik-on, CityU’s Honorary Doctor of Laws and a dedicated long-term supporter of the University. Dr Ip was a witness to the donation made by the Club in 2017 for supporting the building of the Tower. Alongside, CityU management, staff, students of the six-year Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine programme, and student athletes also joined in person or via live streaming to witness the project entering a new stage.
The site for building the Jockey Club One Health Tower where the former Hu Fa Kuang Sports Centre is located is relatively small and near a hillside. The CityU team has managed to overcome these geographic restrictions thanks to the Club’s donation. The 15-storey Tower will have a total floor area of more than 24,000 square metres, five times which of the former hall, with a 1,600-seat multi-function auditorium for international meetings and cultural performances, and an all-weather indoor track, which is connected to the hillside trail adjacent to campus.