Queensland Treasurer Curtis Pitt has approved a Queensland Treasury Corporation loan to fund the $251 million student residences project at UQ’s St Lucia campus.
He said the project was a great investment for the University and for Queensland.
“The construction of the precinct will create around 620 jobs,” Mr Pitt said.
“Once built, there’ll be about 30 ongoing jobs on the site and flow-on benefits for the wider community by having more students living on campus.”
UQ Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Peter Høj applauded the announcement, which enables UQ to consult closely with the community and finalise design and planning.
“This place will offer much more than an attractive living space on one of the world’s most beautiful university campuses,” Professor Høj said.
“It will also support students’ academic success, improve the all-round student experience, and foster skills for advancement in the demanding global contest for satisfying careers.
“It will be home-away-from-home for 1300 students, with around-the-clock pastoral support and security, and easy access to campus sporting and cultural facilities and regular public transport.
“It will set a quality benchmark for university student housing – particularly in the subtropics.
“UQ is Queensland’s only university ranked in the top 50 of all the world’s universities, and attracts exceptional students from throughout the State, around Australia, and about 130 other countries.
Professor Høj said the residences would have a halo effect for other Queensland institutions that educate international students, adding to Queensland’s reputation as a high-quality, safe and welcoming place to study.
“This space will be ideal for students from regional, rural and remote areas, who will interact with peers from all around the world and forge lifelong friendships and global business linkages.
“After they graduate, many who live and study here will be stalwart ambassadors not only for UQ, but also for Queensland and Australia,” he said.
Wilson Architects + Partners Hill will design the Student Residences Project at the St Lucia campus.
This project continues their longstanding relationship and follows their highly successful collaboration on the multi-award-winning Translational Research Institute (TRI).
‘We are excited about bringing the best of education and residential design to the University of Queensland. Wilson Architects’ extensive experience in education design will be highly complemented by Timothy Hill’s exemplary residential projects,’ said Hamilton Wilson, Managing Director, Wilson Architects.
A priority for the University will be the relocation and expansion of the Margaret Cribb Child Care Centre on a new site on campus, catering for about 150 children – twice the current capacity.
The student residences will encompass sites on Walcott and Hood Streets.
Cairngorm, a former family home built around 1901, will be refurbished and incorporated into the development, and two large fig trees in front of Cairngorm on Walcott Street will be kept.
The University will comply with all relevant environmental and regulatory requirements.
Because 1300 students will live on campus, the project, which is within UQ’s St Lucia campus site development plan, is expected to reduce traffic flows.
Construction is likely to begin in mid-2017, with students moving in at the start of 2020.
UQ has a track record for repaying loans from the State Government ahead of schedule.
Source: News Release, The Urban Developer, 01 June 2016