A ‘student-village’ precinct, integrated health and fitness centre and a new Brisbane CBD hub have been given approval as part of a $206.5 million investment by The University of Queensland (UQ).

Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Peter Høj said UQ is committed to providing students and staff with a campus and city presence, maintaining and strengthening its rank as a top 50 university globally. “This investment will not only benefit UQ’s staff, students and the local community for years to come, but also represents a significant win for the Queensland economy,” Professor Høj said.  All projects combined are expected to create more than 360 short-term and ongoing jobs, while attracting students and academics domestically and internationally.

The $94.6 million Student Residence will consist of 610 purpose-built student rooms at the corner of Walcott, Rock and Hood Streets. Construction commences December 2019, opening to students Semester 1 2022. It is based on research which highlighted a gap in Brisbane’s student residential market for more purpose-built on-campus student accommodation. The 16-storey residence will include a central kitchen and kitchenettes on each of the floors, study spaces and recreation facilities. “We hope it will encourage our enrolment of students from less advantaged backgrounds and rural areas. The project will include a mix of room types to meet student preferences, including for those with disabilities,” Professor Høj said. The historic Cairngorm homestead will remain and be refurbished.

Furthermore, the $64.49 million Health and Recreation Centre will house a fitness centre, professional healthcare and a student-led clinic specialising in sports and musculoskeletal injuries. Construction commences in April 2020, and is expected to open to staff, students and local community in first half 2022. The new centre will include gymnasiums, sports halls, group fitness and multi-purpose spaces, as well as consultation and treatment rooms, and teaching and learning resources.

Finally, the new CBD hub is a $47.4 million purchase of the iconic building in the City’s Golden Triangle, the heritage-listed The Chambers, expanding UQ in the Brisbane CBD, while supporting increased demand for executive education and other programs. “We expect the purchase to help us build even stronger connections with business and government, further strengthening UQ’s attraction to post-grad and executive students,” Professor Høj said.

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