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Space, the final frontier

Posted October 31, 2009 in category General by Ian Young

As anyone who works or studies at Swinburne will know, space is a precious quantity. In recent years the University has expanded at a remarkable rate. This has brought many positives for the University and placed us in an outstanding position for future development. It has, however, strained our available space.


I have not been unaware of the issues and, as anyone who visits the Hawthorn Campus will clearly see, construction activity is proceed at pace. Over the last few years we have seen much of our teaching and office space totally refurbished, the Swinburne Place developments on Wakefield Street, the Sustainability Building at Wantirna and the Atrium infill at Lilydale, all completed. These developments have enhanced the built environment of our campuses and improved outcomes for staff and teachers.


The present developments underway include the $120M Advanced Technologies Centre on Burwood Road, Hawthorn (completion late 2010), the $30M Student Hub on Wakefield Street, Hawthorn (completion late 2010) and the new $10M Green Trades Centre at Croydon. These developments will significantly improve our campuses and I thank staff and students for their understanding during the construction process.


We are also planning for the future. Once the Advanced Technologies Centre is complete, the next development at Hawthorn will be another building of similar size on Burwood Road between John Street and William Street. This building will cost approximately $100M and we presently have an application to the Education Investment Fund to provide $40M of this funding. The University has also just completed negotiations with the Prahran Mechanics Institute to buy their building on High Street, Prahran, opening up the possibility for a major development at Prahran.


Our aim is not just to create space for our core activities of education and research, but also to create an environment which is interesting and inviting for students, staff and the community.


These initiatives will certainly enhance our campuses. Coupled with these developments we will also need to be clever with how we use space. In a world where sustainability is critical, we will need to use our spaces efficiently. Therefore, the future will see: us trying to enhance our space utilization, greater teaching in summer and winter terms and greater use of flexible and distance education. All of these approaches will aid sustainability and better meet our students' desires for flexibility.



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