On a frosty Friday morning I met with UC Space Planner, Duncan McConchie who took me for a tour around campus to explain all the upgrades currently underway – and, as you’ll see below there are a lot!
UC Refectory Refurbishment
We started in the Refectory, where work has already begun on refreshing the space, in an exciting upgrade to the food counters. The existing Noodle Hot Box, Rosie’s Chicken and Salad/Soup bar will be refurbished into a single, easy to access counter. There will be new equipment, enhanced signage and new menus with seasonal changes to the food on offer. The modern facilities will allow for healthier, fresher and more varied food. Melt Deli will also have a face-lift to refresh it, and to fit into the newly refurbished food area.
By Semester 2 2019, the UC Refectory will look better than ever, with the new food counters enhancing the upgraded furniture which was installed at the beginning of this year. There are also maintenance works underway to refresh and protect the columns and provide additional power points and lighting for major events.
The space where the UC Shop could previously be entered through the refectory is currently closed. It will undergo exciting new renovations beginning around October this year and aiming to be completed by Semester 1 2020. This space will include a new studio for UCFM, to bring them out of their current basement-space and into a more visible and communal space where students can more easily engage with the radio station.
Adjacent to the new UCFM studio, the remaining space will be turned into a multi-purpose classroom which includes the latest digital teaching equipment and will allow UC to test different technology here before rolling out to other classrooms across the campus. The space will be used by all students and groups as a multi-purpose area.
New Signage and Maps
There is a multi-year project underway to refresh all the signage and maps across the entire campus. By Semester 2 this year there will be new signage on the entrance of every building making it clearer which building you are at. There will also be maps at the pedestrian exits to all carparks showing you where you are.
UC promotes and recognises the importance of gender inclusivity, and you may have already seen that some signs on toilets across campus have been changed to ‘gender inclusive toilet’ signs.
A series of improvements are underway for Building 2, and will be completed during Semester 2 this year and early next year. Building 2 will have new carpet, new paint, new whiteboards and new furniture across all classrooms. The carpet design will be Indigenous artwork, which has been created especially for UC by local artist Lynnice Church. There will be amazing graffiti art in the corridors, completed by local artists Faith Kerehona and Bohie Palecek. New, comfortable seating has already been installed in the corridor with built in power points.
The outdoor space near Building 2 is also being refreshed with colourful and comfortable outdoor furniture. There will be more graffiti art outside, tying the building and outdoor space together. These improvements build on the beanbags, ottomans and the colourful caravan which have all recently been added to this outdoor area. The table tennis tables that are already in place will also be repainted by artists to fit in with the graffiti art theme. One will be painted by Lynnice Church and the other by Bjarni Wark.
Sculpture on Western Concourse
A beautiful sculpture named ‘One’ will be installed on the Western Concourse between Buildings 5 and 8. ‘One’ is described by the artist, Geoffrey Drake-Brockman, as ‘a self-supporting triangulated monocoque that splits into 3 twisting arms of stainless steel that join in axial union at the apex and the base, made of polished mirror’. The sculpture will revitalise this area which is currently underused. There will be a concrete path added between Building 5 and 8 and landscaping around the area to accompany the sculpture. ‘One’ has been generously donated by UC benefactor Dr Naren Chellappah OAM.
Currently, Building 7 has nowhere to wait before/or after class in the narrow corridor outside the main classrooms. When classes are over the corridor is crowded and uncomfortable.
To fix this problem and make the space more welcoming and inviting a classroom is currently being converted into a big, informal, shared, study space for all students. The area will have comfortable furniture, plenty of power points, space to study or relax and a graffiti wall installation across one wall that spreads out into the corridor.
Some of you may know that in Building 6 the tiered lecture hall, 6B45, was flooded last year and had extensive damage. The tiered lecture hall is being converted into a flat floor room which will have large tables to work at, with TVs at each table. The flat floor and large tables promote a more collaborative and innovative working space. The building works will be completed in 2019.
Building 5 Level C has been completely gutted over the past few months to allow for a new office space to be built for UC professional staff. There will be space for 160 staff with a variety of modern work spaces. This will bring staff members who currently work offsite onto campus amongst the students and the university in a welcoming, modern, flexible work space.
A big thanks to Duncan for all the information about these great campus upgrades. So much work is currently underway, but there are also further plans that will be announced in the future, so keep an eye on Curieux for more updates, and look around campus for signs announcing other upgrades in the future!