Published on 9 January 2014
Construction of an impressive $25 million Sippy Downs Learning Hub at the University of the Sunshine Coast is almost complete.
Workers are adding the final touches to the building, which is tipped to become one of the most utilised centres on campus after it opens in time for the start of Semester 1 in February.
Facilities are spread over three floors of the building, which is a joint initiative of the Australian Government’s Structural Adjustment Fund, Sunshine Coast TAFE and the University.
USC’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Hill said the Sippy Downs Learning Hub, allocated the title of “Building E” in the University’s Master Plan, will house a variety of important centres that have a strong focus on students.
“Among the facilities are premises for USC’s Student Life and Learning, Tertiary Preparation Pathway, Buranga Centre, Centre for Support and Advancement of Learning and Teaching (C-SALT), and Sunshine Coast TAFE’s nursing programs,” he said.
Professor Hill said the building’s main teaching functions would be based on advanced simulation and e-learning facilities, and a lecture theatre and tutorial rooms that had been designed as state-of-the-art learning spaces.
“All the formal spaces are interspersed with the extensive open spaces aligned with the concept of the student learning commons,” he said.
“In fact, our students worked with the architects to ensure that the building delivered what they wanted as study, work and relaxation areas. The student areas range from quiet alcoves to group workshop rooms and relaxation hubs.”
The building was designed to be art-friendly and, in many respects, will function as a new art gallery for the campus. It will be the home for the John Mainwaring collection that was gifted to the University last year.
The Buranga Centre, which houses USC’s Indigenous Services, will blend into an outdoor feature that was planned in association with Gubbi Gubbi elders. It will include a yarning circle, fire pit, Indigenous art works and landscaped water features.
“As the University continues its strong growth trajectory in 2014, our new Sippy Downs Learning Hub will quickly become one of the most utilised buildings on campus,” Professor Hill said.
“It may well be our most functional to date and it really will be a very inspiring structure in which to work, study or merely relax.”
— Terry Walsh