University gets $28m cash boost
SOUTHERN Cross University's Lismore campus will be transformed following today's announcement to build a $28 million science and engineering precinct by the Federal Government.
Vice Chancellor Professor Peter Lee said the project was the biggest in 20 years on the Lismore campus.
"The project enables us to increase the range of courses we offer in the science and engineering field, providing further opportunities for students within our region," he said.
Prof Lee said the $27.9 million precinct, announced by Minister for Tertiary Education Chris Evans and Page MP Janelle Saffin, to be financed from the Gillard Government's Education Investment Fund, will contribute toward the university's Engineering and Science @ SCU project that, including capital works and equipment, will total $38 million.
The NSW State Government will contribute $258,300, with the university making up the shortfall of almost $10 million.
Prof Lee said the funding will be used to transform the university by creating a new learning centre, accommodating the library and Co-op Bookshop, designed to be the social hub of the campus.
"This will be located in the heart of the Lismore campus, near the student plaza and will include flexible and contemporary learning spaces, continuing our commitment to excellence in teaching and learning," Prof Lee said.
He said following the estimated 18-month construction period that will start this year, the existing campus library will be refurbished to accommodate science and engineering courses.
The refurbishment will include the construction of 10 purpose-built laboratories.
Ms Saffin said the project's construction will inject $77 million into the local economy and will create more than 120 direct and indirect jobs.
"Within the first 10 years, the project will be worth an estimated $135 million to the economy and bring an additional 576 engineering gradu- ates and 345 Science and Regional Planning graduates in to the workforce," she said.