The best of challenges

Published: Wednesday 18th June 2014

The Melbourne Campus faces the best of challenges, strong student demand and growth. This has required a continuous program of expansion and upgrading of our facilities and amenities for students and staff.

The logistics of works is akin to a sliding puzzle, each move having consequential effects. Some unforseen. We commenced at the end of May this year the complete refurbishment of the Mary Glowrey Building (115 Victoria Parade).

This project will be completed in time for first semester 2015 and will offer an improved entrance and way finding/reception, an expanded multi-faith worship room, an enlarged cafeteria, student seating, café and recreational space on campus. We are systematically upgrading each floor of the Mary Glowrey Building to improve the setting for students, teaching and research.

The School of Education will relocate mid-second semester from level 4 of the Mary Glowrey Building to level 1, 250 Victoria Parade, to allow the Office of Student Success and Jim-baa-yer to temporarily relocate to level 4 whilst level 1 is renovated to coincide with the opening of the ground floor. The air-conditioning plant has largely been replaced and the system is to be connected and upgraded on a floor by floor basis.

The former YSAS building on St. Mary of the Cross Square will be demolished in October of this year, making way for a connecting laneway from Brunswick Street through to Young Street. This lane will be known as Graduate Walk and will form the basis for recognition of graduates in the paving stones.

In July of this year, a second story will be added to the temporary modular buildings on the corner of Victoria Parade and Brunswick Street to accommodate ACUcom’s teaching requirements and new buildings are under consideration for the corner of Victoria Parade and Brunswick Street and the ACU car park site on Victoria Parade.

Around mid-second semester, safety netting will be installed in the atria of the Daniel Mannix Building and revolving doors at either end of the foyer to minimise the wind flowing through the ground floor. These are significant works and they are causing a degree of disruption. However, it will be disruption of relatively short duration and the result will be a significant improvement to the capacity and the quality of amenity of the campus.

On Tuesday, 10 June, the newly created St. Albert’s Garden was named and blessed by Fr Dominic Murphy OP. The garden has been named to honour St Albert the Great, the co-patron of ACU’s Faculty of Education and Arts. St. Albert (c. 1193/1206AD-1280AD) was a German Dominican friar, Bishop and Doctor of the Church.

He is one of the Church's most outstanding intellectuals and an influential figure of his time. He was among the first and greatest of the natural scientists, with expertise in biology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, geography, metaphysics, mathematics, philosophy, biblical studies and theology. St. Albert is an exemplar of the peaceful co-existence between science and religion, faith and reason. It was fitting that Fr Dom, a fellow Dominican, blessed the garden and the newly installed French cross.

This was Fr Dom’s last official function before leaving ACU having been Campus Chaplain for three years. The blessing was followed by a farewell afternoon tea. Students and staff will miss Fr Dom’s presence, guidance and personality.