JCU’s landmark ‘The Science Place’ moving ahead

JCU’s landmark ‘The Science Place’ project is one step closer, with the announcement of the construction company that will build the $85-million joint teaching and research facility on the university’s Townsville campus.

JCU Science
General Manager of Lend Lease’s Building business in Queensland and the NT, Tony Orazio and JCU’s Deputy Vice Chancellor, Services and Resources, Tricia Brand sign the agreement (Photo credit: JCU)

The Science Place is a JCU- and federally funded project that will transform the way tertiary education is delivered across north Queensland.

It’s the biggest project ever undertaken on the Townsville campus. The building will be longer than a football field, and if all the floors are laid out side by side, they would cover more than two football fields.

Lend Lease has won a tender process for the $64-million construction contract, and signed the agreement at James Cook University’s Townsville campus last week.

Deputy Vice Chancellor, Services and Resources, Tricia Brand said she’s delighted Lend Lease will build the innovative building.

“The Science Place will revolutionise the teaching of science in North Queensland.

“The aim of the building is to promote the sciences and encourage interest in science-based careers in the wider community, as well as collocate the JCU science community on the Townsville Campus,” Ms Brand said.

General Manager of Lend Lease’s Building business in Queensland and NT, Tony Orazio, said his team is excited to be working with one of the world’s leading institutions that focuses on the tropics.

“We are really looking forward to beginning a collaborative relationship with JCU to deliver this important project for both the university and the wider community.

“Lend Lease has a proud history in Townsville, having completed the Australian Institute of Marine Science Facility, defence projects, Willows Gardens and Riverside Gardens residential developments, the Jezzine Barracks redevelopment, as well as the Vantassel to Cluden Bruce Highway Upgrade.”

The Science Place will combine state-of-the-art laboratories and technology-enabled active learning spaces, with the capacity to link through to regional and remote, national and international locations.

The five-level, 12,000-m2 facility will be built within the university’s Science and Engineering Precinct, and will accommodate projected growth in student and staff numbers in Chemistry, Biology and Biochemistry over the next decade.

The Science Place will include three new food outlets, a 175-seat collaborative lecture theatre, end-of-ride bicycle facilities, and will be linked to the new ‘Veranda Walk’ that will provide a covered walkway circumnavigating the inner campus.

The CSIRO is also contributing to the project and will run education programs in the building to promote science to secondary school students.

Construction is expected to be completed by December 2016.


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