Uni pledge to open city space to public
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.