A $2.5 million refurbishment of the learning commons of Charles Sturt University’s (CSU) Dubbo Campus will make them accessible 24/7 for hundreds of students who need to study after hours.
The first building to appear on the campus off Tony McGrane Place is receiving a makeover that aims to meet the needs of a “shifting tertiary population” and “get community onto campus as well”.
CSU is funding the refurbishment scheduled to be finished before the 2017 academic year begins. Dubbo builders, plumbers, electricians and bricklayers would be “working through Christmas”, said campus development manager Bart Sykes.
A review of the building led to a changeover of furniture earlier this year with the current work set to “revitalise student spaces at the heart of the campus”.
The front of the building has been gutted to make way for an open-plan Student Central and library services “welcome point”. A cafe and student kitchen will be built adjacent to the library where quiet study spaces will be introduced. Along with staff facilities, a new parent room and multi-faith room will be provided for students. Concrete in the courtyard has been pulled up in preference to “softer spaces” such as lawn on which students can sit. Car park lighting, cameras inside and out and swipe cards are among the refurbishment’s security features.
Mr Sykes said the new-look interior would be “very modern” with recycled timber and leather in the decor. “The biggest change is that the whole building will be open 24/7 which gives a bigger variety of people access,” he said.
They include up to 400 of 650 CSU students who have opted for mixed-mode learning. “So they might be studying online, or online and on campus,” Mr Sykes said.
He said the university was keen for the community to use the expanding campus in ways including meetings and art exhibitions.