A message from the Canberra Campus Dean, Associate Professor Patrick McArdle:
The Canberra Campus has always prided itself on being welcoming to our students, the wider community and all our stakeholders. We are now preparing for a dramatic new public statement of welcome with the Veritas Building - a significant capital investment on the Campus. The name of the building derives from the original motto of the Signadou Teachers College and has been central to the philosophy of the Dominican Orders who founded the Campus. It also links to the University’s own motto, Truth in Love.
Over 50 years ago, as part of the rapid expansion of Canberra in the Menzies’ era, the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn and the Dominican Sisters and Dominican Friars combined to open what, in 1991, became the Signadou Campus of Australian Catholic University. This venture was a physical manifestation of a vision of hope and a commitment to the local Catholic community in the National Capital and the region. Now in the latter part of the second decade of a new century, ACU is renewing that vision and that commitment in a complete renewal and modernisation of the Canberra Campus.
At the centre of this major project is the construction of the Veritas Building - a new facility with student commons, library, lecture and function capacity. Construction is currently on track to be completed in time for Orientation 2018 with the new building being physically and symbolically at the heart of the Campus it will focus public attention and be the centre of activities on the Campus. Together with the renewal of the Cloisters in both the Blackfriars and Signadou Buildings and the 2016 addition of new Science and simulation facilities, this capital project will ensure that the student amenity and public profile of ACU in the Canberra community will continue to build in positive ways.
The emphasis throughout the whole project has been on creating inviting and productive spaces for students to learn, study and collaborate. In practical terms, what this means for students and staff in Canberra is the addition of several learning spaces, student group study areas, refurbishment of almost all other teaching spaces, including for the first time specific purpose spaces for visual arts, enhanced space for higher degree by research students, improved technology and technological accessibility and a base for paramedicine skills development. For our broader community and stakeholders, ACU will be able to host conferences, lectures and seminars in the kinds of facilities that are now expected for such events.
In the works that have already been completed – the new Science and simulation laboratories and the refurbishment of the Signadou Cloister, students and staff have been getting an emerging sense of just how positive and dramatic the changes will be for them as well as how beautiful the renewed Signadou Campus will be from 2018.