Growth spurts

As the western Melbourne region grows, we are growing too and blueprints are in place to accommodate an influx of new students. By 2016 we anticipate a 30 per cent jump in onshore enrolments – that’s an extra 15,000 students across our campuses, with the heaviest concentrations in Footscray, St Albans, the city and Sunshine.

New facilities are on the drawing board for each of these locations with plans at various stages of development.

The following construction work is fully funded and well under way. In later editions we will look at forward planning so we can begin to put together a picture of how the university might look in ten years.

Footscray Park:  The cranes dominating the skyscape at Footscray Park all year have been presiding over the new Sport and Learning Precinct facing the river that will become a focal point of the campus. The $68.5 million building incorporating a plaza will feature:

  • A new central hub for campus activity featuring a refurbished cafeteria with an external terrace
  • A student-focused learning commons
  • Leading edge facilities for the School of Sport and Exercise Science, including a biomechanics lab, an altitude environmental lab and a motor learning lab
  • A high-quality Green Star-rated building

Due for completion: Existing refurbishment and extension by the end of 2009; new building by start of Semester 2, 2010.

Sunshine Hospital Teaching Training and Research Facility:  Most large universities do a lot of their medical and paramedical teaching in hospitals and VU is no different. The new $51.6 million five-level building at Sunshine Hospital is a joint project with Western Health and the University of Melbourne. It will provide opportunities for students of nursing, paramedical sciences and allied disciplines to learn alongside medical professionals from a range of universities. In addition, work experience places will be available for students in business, technical and vocational courses.

Due for completion: January 2011.

St Albans: The new University Boulevard is close to completion, providing a bold new entry on the south side of the campus at Furlong Road. In the north-east corner of the campus a new sealed car park is also completed, providing parking for 750 cars. Together these projects will improve traffic flow and amenity on the campus, which is becoming a significant tertiary education hub in the west.

Due for completion:  the end of this year. 

Footscray Nicholson: VU will become the first high-quality hospitality teaching centre in Melbourne’s west after the completion of refurbishments to the cookery training centre on the Nicholson Campus midway through next year. A $2.7 million federal grant will provide a renovated training restaurant, three new state-of-the-art training kitchens, two theatre-style demonstration kitchens, and upgraded change rooms, cool rooms and service lifts.

Due for completion: June 2010.

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