JCU will invest $40m to develop the 300-bed accommodation on its Smithfield campus.
The seven-storey, 9,450m2 complex will offer a mix of accommodation options including studio apartments with en-suite bathrooms.
The development will also include a ground floor retail space, which could include a coffee shop.
There are plans to expand the accommodation to 1,000 beds over the longer term.
JCU’s Chancellor, Bill Tweddell said the announcement is great news for the city, and the accommodation will help grow JCU’s Cairns campus.
“We are delighted to be announcing the construction of accommodation on the Cairns campus. We know that on-campus accommodation is essential for the growth of our campus.”
JCU Vice Chancellor Professor Sandra Harding said the accommodation will provide a tremendous boost to JCU’s expansion in Cairns.
“The Cairns campus has been growing and on-campus accommodation will make it an even more attractive destination for students. It will also provide a significant boost to the local economy.”
The accommodation will offer residential support and pastoral care, a wide range of social events and programs, a safe living environment, amenities including residential parking, ‘end of ride’ cycling facilities, gym, kitchen and laundry facilities, and high-speed Wi-Fi.
JCU Deputy Vice Chancellor Global Strategy & Engagement and Head of the Cairns Campus, Professor Robyn McGuiggan said the accommodation would help JCU attract more regional, interstate and international students.
The Chairman of Advance Cairns, Trent Twomey said the construction of on-campus accommodation at the Smithfield campus is a key priority for the city.
“JCU is planning exciting projects for the campus, such as the Cairns Innovation Centre, and on-campus accommodation is an integral part of the continued growth of JCU in Cairns.
“This will enable our regional students to live on campus and receive a full service university experience without having to travel south,” Mr Twomey said.
Work has commenced at the site with the accommodation planned to be available to students from first semester, 2018. It is expected that a total of 400 jobs will be created throughout the project and that at peak periods during construction, a maximum of 180 workers will be on site at any one time.
The accommodation is being designed by Wilson Architects and built by ADCO Constructions.
The project will also have a high degree of local participation. ADCO’s Local Industry Participation charter mandates that a majority of subcontractors be locally sourced.
This not only provides ADCO with local knowledge and experience on its projects but also provides significant economic stimulus to the community.
What’s at JCU Cairns?JCU Dental School of course! The dental school was established in 2008 in response to the challenges presented by the oral health needs of northern Australia, and its foundation is part of the Faculty of Medicine, Health and Molecular Sciences’ strong commitment to the provision of professional health education in the area.
The dental school is one of only three dental schools in Australia located outside a capital city. The school’s establishment was funded by a grant of $52.5m from the Federal Government. The new, purpose-built building on the Smithfield campus of the university opened at the beginning of 2011. A new building to house JCU Dental, next door to the Discipline of Dentistry School Building, opened in February 2012.