College redevelopment plans under way

Published 18 July 2012

The first stage of the University of New England’s residential college redevelopment will see a major modernisation of Robb College and a new 200-bed college built at UNE.

Last month the experienced student accommodation provider UniLodge was announced as the preferred tenderer for the project.

The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Jim Barber, said the Robb College plans would be respectful of the College’s rich history while also being modern in their design.

“We plan to keep the building that houses the dining hall and the common rooms, but to rebuild the three residential buildings on their existing footprints,” Professor Barber said. “Our unique partnership with UniLodge, in which we will maintain our contribution to the College’s operating costs, allows us to retain the UNE culture and lifestyle and avoid privatisation.

“We will not compromise on maintaining the positive aspects of the Robb College culture and lifestyle.”

“Our college staff are very important in maintaining these services,” he said, “so Robb College staff employed by UNE are secure under this partnership with UniLodge.”

The redevelopment also includes the construction of a new 200-bed college on campus on Meredith Road.

Professor Barber said this college would be built first, and would play a vital role in housing students during the redevelopment of the college system.

“It will reduce disruption to students and also ensure that revenue and occupancy fluctuations are kept to a minimum during this time,” he said. “UNE aims to be the country’s pre-eminent collegiate university, and to do that we need modern infrastructure and greater student accommodation options.

“This redevelopment delivers on that and will continue to make UNE attractive to students well into the future.”