Construction is about to begin on a $30 million revamp of St Thomas More College, the third major recent addition of student accommodation at the University of Western Australia.
The redevelopment will be largely will largely be funded by bank finance from NAB and the federal government’s National Rental Affordability Scheme, which has provided 242 incentives to develop the new facilities.
Once complete, the college will have an increased capacity, from 175 rooms to 400.
Perth-based building contractor Pindan will undertake the construction work.
Mr Mitchell said the work, which will be complete by December next year, would not have been possible without the NRAS incentives.
“The reality is that we needed to expand,” Mr Mitchell told Business News.
“We didn’t have the financial capacity to maintain what we’ve got, let alone expand, so this has given the college a new lease of life.”
The NRAS scheme also facilitated the $42 million redevelopment of nearby St Catherine’s College.
NRAS incentives provided $27 million to the St Catherine’s revamp, while the remaining funds were raised through bank finance and fundraising.
Building works at St Catherine’s were completed by Pindan earlier this year, adding 250 self-contained rooms and a 10-metre lap pool, as well as tutorial and meeting rooms and a conference centre.
The redevelopment at St Catherine’s followed $68 million worth of construction at University Hall, which is the only student accommodation run by UWA administration.
The new facilities increased capacity at Uni Hall, formerly known as Currie Hall, by 514, to 750 rooms.
The project was constructed by Probuild, with design undertaken by architecture firm HASSELL, which won the Harold Krantz award for residential architecture at the 2014 WA Architecture Awards.
Uni Hall was officially opened in August last year.
In total, the three redevelopments will add about 1,000 rooms to UWA’s student housing facilities, under an initiative first announced in 2011.
Mr Mitchell said he anticipated no issues filling the extra rooms for all three colleges.