Charles Darwin University’s (CDU) new city campus has reached a significant milestone this week with the excavation for the main Education and Community Precinct building completed ahead of schedule.
Carried out by Darwin business DTA Contractors, the excavation involved digging a 73-metre-wide and 71-metre-long hole to a depth of seven metres to accommodate a two-level basement carpark.
Federal Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, said the new precinct is the centrepiece of the Darwin City Deal.
“The new precinct is one of the most significant construction projects in Darwin for a long time, delivering state-of-the-art teaching and research facilities, an art gallery and library that will open up remarkable opportunities for students and the broader community,” Minister Fletcher said.
“Territorians will continue to see new jobs and more cash flowing across local businesses as we continue to progress projects under the Darwin City Deal.”
Northern Territory Minister for Jobs and Training, the Hon Paul Kirby MLA, said the project is a major win for local jobs and the NT economy.
“The Education Precinct is the centrepiece of the Darwin City Deal, with the construction phase delivering 730 jobs, and the precinct forecast to provide a $600million boost to our economy,” Minister Kirby said.
“It is also backing local business and keeping Territory tradies in jobs – and this is why this precinct is so important for the Territory’s economic comeback.
“We need to get more people into the heart of our city and position Darwin as a world-class spot to study, upskill and reskill.”
Senator for Northern Territory, Senator Dr Sam McMahon, said all on-site works have been delivered by Territory businesses so far, with excavation alone supporting the employment of 50 local workers.
“I am very pleased to see this exciting project for Darwin is already providing local job opportunities, which means much-needed employment and economic stimulus for the Territory at such a critical time in our recovery from the impacts of COVID-19,” Senator McMahon said.
“The progress already made is nothing short of spectacular and a sign of the transformational impacts this Deal is having, with excavation alone removing 37,170 cubic metres of soil from the site, which is the equivalent of more than 14 Olympic-sized swimming pools.”
CDU Vice-Chancellor, Professor Scott Bowman AO, said being in the heart of the city means the university will become more accessible for the community and important stakeholders in government and business.
“Increasing engagement with the local community with a city campus is a priority for the university,” Professor Bowman said.
“So many of the Darwin community have or are attending CDU, and it is a lot easier to keep that bond with the local community if we are right in the middle of the city promoting our work and specialities.”
Detailed design of the project is being finalised, and CDU and consultant partners are working together to meet the conditions of its development approval.
The construction phase of the project is expected to begin in the middle of the year and run until late 2023.
Once complete, the Precinct will house CDU’s Asia Pacific College of Business and Law, the College of Indigenous Futures, Arts and Society, IT teaching, the university’s International College and Art Gallery.