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University reveals new student accommodation building

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The University of Newcastle (UoN) has unveiled its plans for more student accommodation within the city precinct.

A two-hectare site on the corner of Worth Place and Civic Lane, which was purchased from the state government in 2018, is expected to be home for 450 pupils.

The initial design proposes to include the construction of a nine-storey building, featuring outdoor communal spaces and ground floor retail options as well.

The project’s scheduled for completion in 2026.

But, first, the UoN is encouraging public input as the planning and development progresses.

“The community will play an important role in the direction of the project,” Vice-Chancellor Professor Alex Zelinsky AO said.

“Hearing from residents and business owners is critical to ensuring their feedback is respected… and ensures the development helps address growing demand for student accommodation in Newcastle.

“We want to make sure this project is designed to provide contemporary, supportive and comfortable housing.

“It’s also necessary to address the increasing need for pupil accommodation in the region, while supporting our local businesses and community to thrive.

“We are committed to expanding housing options, increasing capacity and alleviating rental pressures.

“So, we’re looking forward to collaborating with the community to enhance the student experience and deliver a high-quality, welcoming facility for our region.”

As part of the initial planning process, the university engaged with key local Indigenous stakeholders to provide input into the designs to ensure that the building is “culturally safe”.

“Continuing to respect and celebrate the Aboriginal community’s extensive cultural heritage and connection to this land is a top priority for the uni from start to finish,” Professor Zelinsky said. 

“We’re pleased with the interest received so far.”

In conjunction with community consultation, the project’s enabling works contract has recently gone out to tender, which encompasses site preparations and the relocation of approximately 45 existing parking spaces to ensure there is no impact on overall parking capacity.

In the coming months, a State Significant Development Application will be lodged with the NSW Department of Planning, Housing and Infrastructure, to be assessed before the main works can begin.

The UoN currently has more than 1,700 on-campus accommodation beds across the Callaghan and Ourimbah campuses and provides initiatives to support students to find somewhere to live including a Homestay program facilitated by Australian Homestay Network. 

For more information or to register your attendance to the community engagement session for the City Campus Student Accommodation project, visit the University of Newcastle’s website.

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