The University of New England will soon boast state of the art sport and exercise facilities at Sport UNE following the commencement of Stage 1 of a three-stage infrastructure upgrade.
This upgrade will complement the planned construction of new teaching and research facilities to support new degrees in Exercise Physiology, Exercise Science and Sport Science to start in 2010.
The $5.5 million project, which started this week, includes the construction of a new multipurpose stadium, a weights and conditioning gym that will be almost double the size of the current facility, a cafe, lecture rooms and laboratories, administrative offices and a new entry.
Sport UNE’s executive director, Dave Schmude, said the new additions would transform UNE’s sporting precinct.
“We are very excited about this project which will enable Sport UNE to provide a centre for sport and exercise excellence that is unparalleled anywhere else in regional Australia,” he said.
“This is great news, not only for recreational users of Sports UNE’s facilities, but it provides much needed teaching space for, in particular our sports and exercise sciences and education courses.”
Award coordinator for UNE’s Sports and Exercise Science degrees, Dr Jim McFarlane, said that the new facilities would make UNE unique among Australian tertiary institutions.
“Nowhere in the country will have as close an integration of academic and athletic facilities,” he said.
“Students undertaking our Bachelor of Sports Science, Bachelor of Exercise Science and Bachelor of Exercise Physiology degrees will be able to step straight out of the classroom and into the pool or gymnasium for instance.
“To have such close access between teaching and exercise facilities is an exciting prospect for me.”
Mr Schmude said the enormity of the project meant it was inevitable that there would be some inconvenience for clients, but that it would not impact on the services Sport UNE provides.
“It will essentially be a construction zone here but otherwise it will be business as usual,” he said.
“I ask that be people be patient during the construction phase as some short-term inconvenience will be more than compensated for by the wonderful new facilities once work is complete.”
Funding for the project will come from the Federal Government’s VSU Transition Fund, set up in 2006 to assist universities adjust to voluntary student unionism.
The architect is Tim Earnshaw & Partners Pty Ltd and the construction company is Box & Co Pty Ltd.
Stage 2 and 3 of the project will involve the development of aquatic facilities at Sport UNE.
For more information contact Dave Schmude on 6773 5185.