University announces new $33m ‘airspace’ facility
University Council at its meeting on 8 February approved the release of $220 million for capital expenditure projects over the next five years including $44 million for the Early Start project and a newly-announced $33 million sciences laboratory facility.
The Science Teaching Facility will be built in airspace over the existing Ovals P7 Carpark, adjacent to the SMART Infrastructure Facility and linked to the Sciences Building. Construction is expected to start on this project from November 2013 and be completed by December 2014. The project is being fully funded by the University.
The three-level 6,100 square metres Science Teaching Facility comprises chemistry, biological sciences and earth and environmental teaching laboratories which will be used for science, health and behavioural and engineering students.
The top floor will also contain research laboratories which will allow the University to increase its higher degree research student focus.
Late last year the University announced the $44 million Early Start inter-disciplinary project to be based in the Faculty of Social Sciences at UOW. It is a strategic teaching, research and community engagement initiative which will deliver a new generation of graduates to work with young children aged from 0-12.
This facility comprises $31 million in funding through the Federal Government’s Education Investment Fund with the remainder made up of a $7 million private donation from Mr Christopher Abbott and $6 million from the University itself. Early Start, to be built at the western end of the Wollongong campus, will include specialist teaching and research spaces, a Children’s Discovery Centre and be the hub for Early Start Engagement Centres.
The overall facility – due to open early in 2015 – will feature a three-level building with a gross floor area of 9,300 square metres. The Children’s Discovery Centre, expected to draw 120,000 children and their families from across Australia a year, will provide more than 2,000 square metres of activity/exhibit space, outdoor exploration courtyards and discovery galleries supported by administrative and technical facilities.