The master plan for the new Southern Cross University Gold Coast campus, incorporating environmentally-friendly design and state-of-the-art technology, has been unveiled by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Paul Clark.
Planning for the new campus, to be built within the Gold Coast Airport Development Park is well under way and the University is on track to welcome its first cohort of students in early 2009.
Professor Clark said the Gold Coast campus would incorporate contemporary architecture and landscaping and utilise ‘best practice’ environmental management strategies.
“We have appointed the architectural firm Woodhead Pty Ltd to design the first steps of the campus,” Professor Clark said.
“We anticipate having the equivalent of 750 full-time students in 2009 growing to 2000 by 2011. Together with our other campuses in Tweed Heads, Lismore and Coffs Harbour we aim to provide a comprehensive range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses and research.”
Professor Clark said the new campus would offer courses in business, tourism, law, allied health, education, social welfare and sport management, and cater for both domestic and international students.
It will complement the existing campus at Tweed Heads, which will be transformed into a dedicated Graduate College of Management offering postgraduate business qualifications and intensive management courses.
The new campus will span the Queensland and New South Wales border and will be accessed via the Gold Coast Highway and the Tweed Heads bypass, when that is complete. The master plan also includes pedestrian access to Kirra Beach and the eastern side of the Gold Coast Highway.
“We are extremely pleased with the progress to date and are excited about the educational opportunities this new campus will provide for the people in northern NSW and southern Queensland,” Professor Clark said.
“We will also be incorporating ‘best practice’ environmental design, which will showcase the University’s commitment to environmental sustainability.”
Natural features including a wildlife corridor providing a protected habitat, native gardens and the rehabilitated creek will be incorporated into the campus setting.
The master plan design creates a campus virtually free of vehicle traffic and provides a safe environment for pedestrians and cyclists. The design also includes a range of open spaces, and informal and formal gatherings areas.
Car parking for staff and students will be in one central location at the northern end of the site, with additional parking allowed for in future stages. The master plan also incorporates provision to connect the campus to light and heavy rail.
Professor Clark said the first stage of the campus would be built on the part of the site located in Queensland. It is expected to cost in the vicinity of $20 million, including $4 million in capital funding already allocated from the Federal Government.
“We have the strong support of the Gold Coast and Tweed communities for this project and look forward to the unique opportunities a cross-border campus may open up,” he said.
“We have called for expressions of interest from private partners to work with us to provide student accommodation close to the campus.”
Professor Clark said construction was expected to start in October or November this year and be complete by December 2008. The planning authority for the site is the Commonwealth Government.
The master plan is expected to go on public display later this month.
Media contact: Brigid Veale Southern Cross University communications manager, 02 66593006 or 0439 680 748.