First stage of college renovations completed

Published 18 February 2010

Mary White refurbishmentThe first stage in the current $5 million renovation of Mary White College at the University of New England has been completed, with students now occupying the 34 newly refurbished rooms of Block 2.

The improvements to each room include new cupboards, desks, king single beds, ergonomic office chairs and single couches, and pay TV access. All common areas in the block have also been refurbished.

“It’s exciting to see the students’ faces when they first see the refurbished rooms,” said the Director of the UNE Residential System, Barb Shaw. “Some of the students checking into the new rooms have commented that they feel as though they’re in a five-star resort.”

Disabled facilities have been improved, with an upgraded disabled bathroom, an ensuite disabled room, and a ramp leading into the building.

In the interests of energy and water conservation, windows have been double-glazed to maintain a cool temperature during summer and minimise heat loss in cold weather. The lighting comes on only when people are nearby, and all bathrooms contain water-saving shower heads and toilets.

Taking advantage of the latest technology, students are being issued with a single card that will be their student ID, library borrowing card, gate swipe and room key – all in one.

The refurbishment of another two residential blocks at the college, scheduled for completion in March and May this year, will mark the half-way point in the renovation work. At that point, 100 rooms and the common areas associated with them will have been refurbished.

“The works are part of a series of planned upgrades to the University of New England’s residential colleges,” Ms Shaw said. “We’re very happy to have the first round of refurbishments complete, marking the beginning of staged upgrades to other residential colleges.”

THE PHOTOGRAPH displayed here expands to show the Head of Mary White College, Dr Jack Hobbs (seated, centre), with students in one of the newly refurbished rooms. The students are (from left) Matt Grills, Adam Ennebt, Saania Dosanjh, Kayt Hogan, Allison Black, and Victoria Hardy.