Minister breaks ground on ACU’s $75m health and wellbeing centre

Thursday, 25 November 2010

9 November 2010: Education Minister Bronwyn Pike broke ground today on Australian Catholic University’s (ACU) new energy efficient development in Fitzroy.

Development approval was granted last month for the $75 million expansion of the Melbourne Campus. The new National Centre for Health and Wellbeing, which is aiming for a 6-Star Green Star Energy rating, will comprise lecture theatres and state-of-the-art learning facilities, as well as a gymnasium, bookshop, chapel, student centre and rooftop garden. 

Minister Pike said ACU was leading by example with its energy efficient development, and expressed her hope that Melbourne would one day become an Australian leader in this area.

Minister breaks groundArchbishop Denis Hart (left), ACU Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Craven, Minister Bronwyn Pike and Deputy Vice-Chancellor Chris Sheargold.

Professor Greg Craven, Vice-Chancellor at ACU said placements at the University are in high demand. 
“For the last two years in Melbourne we saw an increase of 74 per cent for first preference applications on commonwealth supported places alone,” he said. 

“When completed, the centre will enable ACU to graduate an additional 500 students a year in nursing, paramedicine, midwifery, exercise science, occupational therapy, psychology and public health - as well as greatly increase research capacity in those areas.” 
Mark Kelly, Director of architectural firm Woods Bagot, said the nine-storey development will incorporate a range of environmentally sustainable initiatives including acting mass cooling concrete slabs, rainwater harvesting, solar hot water heating panels and wind turbines.

The project is due for completion by May 2012. 

New building in MelbourneAn artist’s impression of the new National Centre for Health and Wellbeing. Photo courtesy Woods Bagot.