DEAKIN University will make a return to Warrnambool’s CBD with plans to set up a learning centre and community hub in Timor Street.
The uni will take over the former Regal Cafe as part of a move to further engage with the city.
The building will be used as a meeting place for students and lecturers, with plans to host community activities in the function rooms.
Students will also be able access the Deakin wi-fi network in the building and on the adjacent Civic Green.
It will be the university’s first presence in the CBD since the late ’90s, when it ran a short-lived information centre/internet cafe on Liebig Street.
Head of campus Professor Greg Wood said the new base would give the university exposure in the heart of the city.
“The major thing that (my colleagues) said that would move us forward is a greater connectedness with the city and the region,” he said.
“I do believe this will enable people to engage with us in the way that is easier than in the past. It will give everyone a chance to drop in and find out more about what Deakin has to offer.” “We’re already part of Warrnambool at the Sherwood Park Campus but that isn’t easy for everyone to visit.
“Students and staff will be able to drop in and use the facilities. We expect staff will also use the Civic Green to read, work on their computers or catch up with others.”
Professor Wood said the location in Timor Street would add to Warrnambool’s “education and cultural precinct” which includes the Warrnambool Art Gallery, Lighthouse Theatre and the Warrnambool Library, with TAFE just a block away. “This is a good way to engage with this precinct,” he said.
“It will deepen our relationship with the art gallery and the Lighthouse Theatre and strengthen our close bonds with South West TAFE.”