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14 January 2015

artists impression of exteriorA ceremony will today mark the start of construction on the University of South Australia’s Mount Gambier New Learning Centre.

The $12.5 million Learning Centre, being built next to TAFE SA on Wireless Road, is set to provide South East students with a world-class tertiary education facility and state-of-the-art learning spaces.

UniSA’s Vice Chancellor Professor David Lloyd will turn the first sod of soil on the site to celebrate the start of construction.

He says the Mount Gambier New Learning Centre will be open for business in February 2016.

“This 2500 square metre building will include a 120-seat civic lecture gallery, which will also be used by the Mount Gambier community,” he says.

“It will have specialist teaching facilities to support nursing, midwifery and social work programs; five flexible general teaching spaces; two active teaching rooms with large screens and the latest technology; and a central piazza hub for informal learning and socialising.

artists impression civic lecture gallery“The specialist teaching facilities for nursing, midwifery and social work are particularly exciting and will promote experiential learning. For example, the patient bedrooms and treatment rooms for nursing and midwifery teaching are modelled on the new Royal Adelaide Hospital and Mount Gambier Hospital facilities, so those students will be learning in real world environments that will equip them well for when they enter the workforce.”

Joining Prof Lloyd at the sod turning ceremony will be UniSA’s Pro Vice Chancellor: Student Engagement and Equity Laura-Anne Bull, and UniSA Mount Gambier’s Associate Dean: Teaching and Learning Judy Nagy.

Guests will include Federal Member for Barker Tony Pasin, State Member for Mount Gambier Troy Bell, City of Mount Gambier Mayor Andrew Lee and District Council of Grant Mayor Richard Sage.

The new building is part of a wider UniSA Regional Connections project. UniSA secured $18 million in Federal funding towards the project, which includes $10.5 million towards the new building as well as $7.5 million for the delivery of high speed broadband for Mount Gambier and Whyalla campuses.

“By upgrading our information and communications technology capacity, our regional students will be able to access resources 1000 times faster, making Whyalla and Mount Gambier among the most connected regional cities in Australia,” Prof Lloyd says.

“We look forward to this project really enhancing the student experience for our regional students.

artists impression student piazza“The Mount Gambier New Learning Centre will triple the size of UniSA’s facilities in the South East, enabling up to four times as many students to participate in our programs.

“With the new building opening in 2016, it will also be a great way to celebrate UniSA’s upcoming 25th anniversary.”

The new James Morrison Academy of Music will be housed in the Mount Gambier City Hall, but the Learning Centre facilities will be available for use by Academy students.

The new building will link through to TAFE SA and an extra 50 car parking spaces will be included in construction.

Architects for the Learning Centre are Russell & Yelland Architects in association with Guida Moseley Brown Architects. The contractor is BADGE Constructions. Craig Buckberry and John Held from Russell & Yelland, together with the project team from BADGE, will be attending today’s ceremony.

Media note: The sod turning ceremony will take place at 12pm today, Wednesday January 14. Prof David Lloyd will be available for interviews.

Media contact: Kelly Stone office 8302 0963 mobile 0417 861 832 email Kelly.stone@unisa.edu.au

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