A large-scale expansion and redevelopment of the UTS City campus has begun, with construction underway on a new student housing tower at the rear of the existing Peter Johnson building in Harris St.
NSW Premier Kristina Keneally visited the site last week to announce the Government's approval of the $427 million Broadway Precinct Concept Plan, a key component of the overall UTS City Campus Master Plan. The concept plan covers four new buildings and a number of major refurbishments, relocations and new social hubs.
Another construction crew is due to arrive on campus before the end of the month to start work on the plan's second project, a multi-purpose sports hall that will be built underground adjacent to the existing UTS Fitness Centre.
Meanwhile, the detailed design for a new landmark building on Broadway is underway, as is a design competition to extend the podium of the UTS Tower and the adjacent Building 2 to provide new student facilities.
Ms Keneally said the plan includes 58,750 square metres of additional floor space for educational, retail, cultural and sporting uses; more than 25,000 square metres of extra floor space to house 720 students in studio and shared apartments; and an extra 70 bicycle spaces for resident students.
"This redevelopment will allow the University of Technology to further cement its role as a key educational, medical, research and technology centre," she said.
"The $70 million student accommodation project meets the needs of an increasing student population, but importantly it will also reduce demand for rental housing in the local area, and boost affordability."
UTS Deputy-Vice Chancellor (Resources) Patrick Woods said the approval had given the green light to change the face of education at UTS. "As well as improving facilities for our students and staff, our plans are also aimed at making UTS more accessible to the local community. By establishing better pedestrian networks, we want to invite our neighbours onto campus to take advantage of new facilities such as the proposed gallery, cinema, café and retail spaces."
Under the planning approval, the university has committed to:
- Maximising retail, student union and other activities at ground level, increasing the activation of the street frontage
- Maximising pedestrian access into and through the site
- Offsetting overshadowing through improved building frontages, better defined street edges and other public domain works, and
- Achieving very high environmental performance ratings for its academic buildings
The multi-purpose sports hall will be the first project completed under the master plan, in time for the start of semester one next year. The student housing tower is scheduled for completion by the end 2011.