DEAKIN University Warrnambool campus’s standing as a great place to study and live has been enhanced by $45 million of building projects to improve facilities.
The works include new student accommodation to provide another 100 beds, aquaculture research facilities, an updated cafeteria, medical school facilities, building upgrades and improvements to the library and sports oval.
Campus head Professor Greg Wood said the developments reaffirmed Deakin’s commitment to Warrnambool and the Great South Coast region.
“It is an exciting time for the campus,” Professor Wood said.
“The improved facilities are more student-friendly, great for staff and in some cases will be available for the broader community to access. The whole campus is looking fantastic at the moment.”
Professor Wood said the projects included investment from the university and state and federal governments.
The largest of the building projects is the new student accommodation, costing $13.5 million and which is now out to tender.
It is expected construction will start later this year.
The new student accommodation will have great views of the Hopkins River and enhance further the Sherwood Park’s reputation for having a picturesque setting.
“It will look magnificent when it is finished,” Professor Wood said.
A total of $7.5 million has also been spent on facilities for the Deakin Medical School at Warrnambool Base Hospital, including four houses in the community for student accommodation.
Another $4 million was spent on staff and facilities to bring the Deakin At Your Doorstep program to the Warrnambool campus in 2010. It was part of an $8.2 million federal government investment in the program that aims to provide more educational opportunities for people in rural and regional areas.
Deakin will also spend $5 million over the next five years on marine and aquaculture research and teaching at Warrnambool.
The investment will include new equipment and the recruitment of additional research and technical staff to support expanded research and teaching activities, including marine biology, freshwater biology and a new fisheries and aquaculture degree, plus an up-to-date boat equipped for oceanographic research.
Social facilities have also been upgraded with a $3 million redevelopment of the campus cafeteria that will also provide a new venue for community events.
Professor Wood said the expanded cafeteria could seat up to 400 people and could be used as a regional conference centre.
Deakin’s redevelopment of the Cafe Regal in Warrnambool’s CBD will involve the expenditure of another $1 million over the next three years.
An additional $800,000 has been spent upgrading Sherwood Park’s Hughes Oval, perhaps better known as The Pond.