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MEDIA RELEASE

31 October 2018

University of Melbourne Graduate Union – New Landmark for a New Era

Mr Rhys Watson, Outgoing Chair of Melbourne University’s Graduate Union, said today that the approval for construction of the new accommodation and academic hub was a milestone of double significance.

“Not only is it an important investment supporting the full scope of the Graduate Union’s future role but it is also a symbol of the groundwork undertaken to ensure future financial security and growth of income,” said Mr Watson.

“Detailed financial modelling was undertaken in 2017, prior to committing to the proposed redevelopment,” he said. “It was essential to establish that the building would generate sufficient surpluses once built and fully operational. The modelling demonstrated that this would be the case.”

“As a building, with many features, it will deliver an important accommodation and services resource but, in addition, it is an important symbol of the strategic renewal of the Graduate Union,” said Mr Watson.

“The Graduate Union, which was established in 1911, bought the Gladstone terraces in 1947,” he said. “The new building will be situated behind the terraces and their front and interiors will be retained.”

“This building, designed by MGS Architects, is an outstanding example of preserving and protecting the past while embracing the best that modern design and technology can offer,” he said.

“There will be seven floors with 130 apartments plus a café, study spaces, administration offices and a public café,” said Mr Watson.

“There will also be conference facilities and the first three floors will house expanded administration, membership and public functions,” he said. “In addition, the building will have a gymnasium, laundry and 33 car park spaces in the five level basement.”

In keeping with the Graduate Union’s leadership role, the new building will incorporate leading edge technology on its facade that will actually neutralise air pollution. We have made an investment in the future of Graduate Union and, at the same time, we have invested in making a contribution to tackling pollution,” said Mr Watson.

ENDS