IGA opening adds flavour to campus life
Retail and food development a boost for students and staff.
The Wollongong Campus community will benefit from immediate improvements to campus life following the completion of a $4.5 million upgrade that includes the opening of an IGA supermarket.
Officially opened today (21 September) by Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Wellings CBE, the 435-square metre store will operate seven days a week and will serve the needs of a growing student population living on campus.
The IGA will be owned and operated by the UOW Pulse, the new service delivery organisation created through the merger of UniCentre and URAC.
The recently released 2016–2036 Wollongong Campus Master Plan outlines a vision for the campus to become a hub of student life, supported by the construction of new accommodation buildings that will cater for 2650 students to live on campus.
This transformation will mean that students will spend more time on campus, making use of extended hour facilities such as the Library and gym, hospitality and retail services.
Chief Administrative Officer Melva Crouch said the growth in students living on campus created demand for high-quality and good value retail services.
“The continued transformation of the Wollongong Campus into a vibrant student hub means there will be people on-campus throughout the week during university hours, outside university hours, over the weekend and during the academic breaks.
“Currently, the closest essential retail offerings for students are primarily in neighbouring suburbs, making it difficult for students who don’t drive to do their grocery shopping easily and safely.
“Maintaining the right environment, that includes world-class facilities, attractive public spaces and much-needed retail and food outlets, will help the University reach its ambitions while continuing to foster valuable local links and encouraging staff and students to fulfil their potential.”
IGA has employed 40 staff, predominately UOW students, creating on-campus job opportunities.
In addition to the IGA supermarket, the $4.5million UOW Pulse upgrade included a state-of-the-art food production kitchen adjacent to the University Hall, upgrades to the finishes and amenity of the Food Court and a new careers, health, medical and wellbeing precinct.
Trevor Fredricks, UOW IGA store manager, said the store has been designed to meet the needs of staff and students on campus.
“Our aim is to provide quality products, the freshest produce as well as the customer service independent retailers are known for.
"The fresh produce in store is going to be a standout for those on campus with ready to eat meals for those on-the-go, quality fruit and veg and a number of international ranges.
“We know the importance that everyone is placing on health so our new stores will include organic products and a health food range in store that includes more than 200 gluten free products, coconut water, protein food and healthy snacks.
“We are locals supporting locals and UOW IGA will be looking to ramp up produce from local suppliers in the region as we want to be part of a thriving local community.”