Grand plan engineered for Bendigo campus

The first ceremonial sod has been turned for the new $22 million engineering building at La Trobe University's Bendigo campus.

The four-storey steel and glass building is the first of two major new structures set to redefine the campus over the next 18 months.

Ground works have already started on the engineering building, which is expected to be finished by mid-2018.

Vincent Chrisp Architects’ contemporary design has been inspired by the nature of the courses taught within, and the impressive views of Bendigo beyond.

Head of Campus Rob Stephenson said the building would enable La Trobe to offer engineering, technology, maths and science courses in a state-of-the-art facility, to ensure graduates go on to forge careers at the cutting edge of those industries.

“We’re currently working with local firms to design the sort of courses that will educate our engineers for best-practice skills and knowledge now and into the future,” he said.

One floor of the building will house the new State Government-funded Bendigo Tech School, catering for the region’s secondary college students.

“The fact the city’s secondary school students will learn from industry and education partners will ensure there are many opportunities for young people to develop skills needed for the future,” Mr Stephenson said.

“Incorporating creativity and design into science, technology, engineering and mathematics learning is widely regarded as a key to accessing in-demand jobs of the future, and this facility will enable us to do just that.

“La Trobe has just signed an agreement to host and operate the Bendigo Tech School and is currently recruiting for the director role.”

Acting Vice-Chancellor Professor Rob Pike said the building was one part of the Bendigo Campus Transformation Program.

“The brief for the program was to further open the campus to the community and welcome people in,” Professor Pike said.

“The benefits of doing so will be far-reaching. The opportunities this engineering building will offer will bring the world to Bendigo, and take our students to the world.”

The Bendigo Campus Transformation Program also includes a library extension, new entry plaza and bus route through the campus heart, bringing the total budget to $50 million.

Architect Jim Chrisp said the library extension featured a curved glass façade, café, community events space, double the current space for learning and studying and vast views to the north and north-east.

“The whole transformation program is by far the most exciting project we’re working on,” he said.

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