The concept plans have arisen from collaborations between the MoU partners, and reference the strategic goals and plans of all the parties.
Two key sites have been identified as preferred locations for new University buildings. One of these is at Inveresk, adjacent to University of Tasmania Stadium and facing Invermay Road. The other is at Willis Street car park, adjacent to the National Automobile Museum of Tasmania. Further development and expansion of the Australian Maritime College at Newnham, including a new student hub, is key to the proposal. The State Government, City of Launceston and University are also working on plans for the redevelopment of the remainder of the Newnham site.
Both the Inveresk and Willis St buildings could be built in stages, depending on funding. This would allow for a flexible floor plan that could accommodate changing teaching and research needs over time.
The overall site concept (image below) shows the locations of existing infrastructure and proposed locations.
The Inveresk building (concept image below) would be potentially 4 stories high - a similar height to University of Tasmania Stadium - and would contain the main teaching, academic and professional spaces as well as research spaces. This building would include the Library and English Language Centre. Key disciplines that would be represented on this site would include Business, Arts, Education, Law, IT and Design and Architecture.
The mixed-use site would include public spaces and facilities available for community use. Car parking on site (below the building) would be available for public use at weekends and during holiday periods. Retail activation along the Invermay Road frontage will be considered by the City of Launceston.
The building design would reflect the industrial heritage of the Inveresk site as well as the curved profile of Aurora Stadium. Open public spaces would also be incorporated, and if necessary the building could be constructed in stages.
The interiors of the existing Architecture and Arts buildings at Inveresk would also be reviewed, with the HitLab potentially moving into the Arts building and new teaching spaces configured in both buildings. The existing co-location with TasTAFE would be maintained.
Artist's impression: A view from the existing Arts School facilities
The Willis St building (artist's impression below) would showcase the University's research strengths with key health, science, engineering and technology facilities as well as teaching, academic and professional spaces and car parking. The building would be sympathetic to the surrounding area and could potentially provide an open public plaza adjacent to the National Automobile Museum of Tasmania, adding to the public amenity on site. Key disciplines that would be represented on this site would include health, science, engineering and technology, agriculture and aquaculture.
The mixed-use site would include public spaces and facilities available for community use. Car parking on site would be available for public use at weekends and during holiday periods.
Similarly to the Inveresk site, the building could be constructed in stages.
Willis St, pedestrian plaza and National Automobile Museum of Tasmania
Australian Maritime College Concepts
The intention is for the Australian Maritime College (AMC) to remain at the Newnham site. Creating an AMC-focussed campus will give the opportunity for the AMC to build on its international brand and identity, utilising the world-class maritime and engineering infrastructure on site, including the Cavitation Research Laboratory and the Simulation Centre. Any development of new locations would also mean investment in the AMC campus. The university would potentially develop a new forecourt entrance for the AMC, as well as a new student hub (artists impressions below). The new build would complement existing teaching and research infrastructure, as well as the existing student accommodation and other facilities on site.
Developing the Newnham site
The University intends to retain the Australian Maritime College, playing fields and other buildings and amenities at Newnham, equating to close to half the existing site.
As many have noted publicly, the remaining site is large and relatively flat, making it a prime area for the future expansion of Launceston city. The partners to the MoU (in particular the University and City of Launceston) are exploring development opportunities as part of the Northern Suburbs Revitalisation strategy and a working party is being established to assess the potential future of the site. It is envisaged that at least part of the existing site would be redeveloped into community facilities, including reserves and playing fields.