Uni pledge to open city space to public

Mercury (Hobart) - - NEWS - JAMES KITTO

PLANS are in place to ac­ti­vate the Melville St Univer­sity of Tas­ma­nia apart­ment site as Ho­bart’s next buzzing com­mu­nity hub.

UTAS hopes its $65 mil­lion, 15-storey stu­dent ac­com­mo­da­tion de­vel­op­ment on the cor­ner of El­iz­a­beth and Melville streets will be­come a vi­brant so­cial set­ting within the next 12 months.

Dur­ing con­struc­tion in 2015 UTAS Vice Chan­cel­lor Ru­fus Black said: “Once com­plete, it will pro­vide on­go­ing so­cial and economic re­vi­tal­i­sa­tion for the CBD”.

But since build­ing works were com­pleted the site has pro­vided lit­tle so­cial ben­e­fit to the Greater Ho­bart com­mu­nity, Prof Black said.

“Pre­vi­ously it’s been a pretty un­invit­ing space so we want to make it a lot more wel­com­ing and show that ev­ery­one is wel­come here,” he said. “We want to turn the out­side [court­yard] area over to the com­mu­nity and turn it into a com­mu­nity garden.

“We’re putting in garden beds for grow­ing food and that will be avail­able to lo­cal com­mu­nity mem­bers, traders and stu­dents.

“Uni­ver­si­ties and ci­ties work when you’re shar­ing the space and part of be­ing in the city is mak­ing the univer­sity more ac­ces­si­ble and shar­ing it more.”

Prof Black said the ac­com­mo­da­tion com­plex’s foyer would be turned into an area to en­gage kids with STEM learn­ing ac­tiv­i­ties.

He said it was too early to pre­dict what sort of events could be hosted at the space.

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