SCU to get $2m leisure centre as compensation
By WILL JACKSON
A $2 MILLION swimming pool and recreational centre is to be built at Southern Cross University's Lismore campus.
The leisure facility, part of an expanded Campus Central building, will also include an eatery and social hub, and an improved health and fitness centre.
SCU vice-chancellor Professor Paul Clark said the 25-metre lap pool and smaller recreational pool would be housed in a fabric structure that would be cheaper than a traditional concrete building.
The new leisure centre is expected to be opened next year.
The university has been also allocated $1 million for a sports and recreation centre at its Coffs Harbour campus.
The funding comes as part of a compensation package offered to Australian universities following the banning of compulsory student unionism last year.
Before the controversial legislation was passed, Prof Clark warned about 150 SCU jobs would be axed and the loss of ser- vices could undermine the future of the university.
He said voluntary student unionism would cost student services about $2.5 million a year in fees.
However, he said yesterday with careful restructuring and rationalisation, the university had man- aged to maintain services.
The university had taken over some services and outsourced others to private operators ? a facilitywide belt-tightening exercise.
"We managed to work our way through it, but it was very hard work and there were a few job losses," he said.
Prof Clark said that taking over some services previously paid for by student fees would be an ongoing drain on the SCU budget.
Student Representative Council president Michael Lambert said he supported the pool.
"Obviously we would love to see the money put back into student organisations and advocacy, but the Federal Government wouldn't allow it. The university is making the best of a bad situation."