25 July 2012
The University of the Sunshine Coast has appointed Hutchinson Builders to construct its $4 million Gympie Learning Hub.
Construction of the building on the Wide Bay Institute of TAFE (WBIT) site on Cartwright Road received Gympie Regional Council approval today.
Hutchinson Builders team leader Michael Crocker said the construction timeline of 23 weeks would enable the Gympie Learning Hub to be in use by Semester 1, 2013, weather permitting.
Mr Crocker said he was looking forward to starting work on the 1,800 square metre, two-storey building, which he described as having some “interesting architectural attributes”.
Designed by architectural firm HASSELL, it will include a 75-seat lecture theatre, tutorial rooms for 30-50 people, staff offices and study areas for students. It will be fitted out with interactive technology that will connect to USC’s campus at Sippy Downs.
“It’s very exciting to be associated with this project, especially when it is the first time the University will be doing something like this in the Gympie district,” Mr Crocker said. “And with the economic times that we’re in at the moment, it’s really great for us to win a project like this.”
Hutchinson Builders recently completed three projects at USC, including an aerial walkway linking two existing buildings, a lecture theatre fit-out and a refurbishment of the University’s iconic ICT building (Building J). It also recently completed work in Gympie, constructing a Caltex Woolworths Service Station and a new building at St Patrick’s College.
USC’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Hill said funding for the Gympie Learning Hub had come through a competitive grant, which was awarded to USC in December 2011 under the Federal Government’s Structural Adjustment Fund.
He said this funding would enable the University to broaden its footprint geographically and to engage with a community that has wanted access to further education opportunities for a long time.
“Our initial offerings at Gympie next year will be the Bachelor of Nursing Science, Primary Education (for part-time students only), science subjects that relate to Nursing Science, foundation subjects and our bridging program called Tertiary Preparation Pathway,” he said.
“Once USC’s Gympie Hub is more established, the University will be looking at additional offerings like Business, possibly by Semester 2, 2013.”
— Terry Walsh