The University of New England has begun a multi-phase project to revitalise its renowned residential campus. This week a demolition contractor will begin work to remove the vacant Robb College accommodation blocks in preparation of the design and construction of a new accommodation precinct.
In December 2017, the University was advised by the NSW Heritage division that the Heritage Council of NSW does not intend to progress with the listing of Robb College on the NSW State Heritage Register. However, Chief Operating Officer, Professor Peter Creamer, has confirmed that the basalt stones recovered during this removal process will be kept and used in the redevelopment of Robb’s new accommodation precinct.
“We know how important Robb is to a lot of people. By keeping the stones we are recognising Robb’s origins. It is also in keeping with UNE’s commitment to sustainable redevelopment,” Prof. Creamer said.
The design of the new Robb College residential court will be complementary to that of the original accommodation blocks. This is in recognition of Robb’s origins and in keeping with UNE’s commitment to sustainable redevelopment. Robb’s iconic dining hall will also be retained and restored to its former glory, so maintaining the positive aspects of Robb’s heritage.
An architectural design team is likely to be appointed by late February. Their brief will include the design of the new Robb College Residential Court as well as a new 300-bed accommodation block to be located in the residential precinct. The removal project is expected to be completed in spring 2018.
The Robb redevelopment project is part of a larger project to modernise UNE’s residential colleges. It is a significant investment in infrastructure that will allow the University to meet the expectations and demands of our students now and into the future.