Hallowed halls of learning

IT is a long-standing tradition that there should be at least one pub on each university campus.

The University of Notre Dame has turned this tradition on its head, recently transforming the century-old Fremantle P&O Hotel into a campus.

The university secured a 21-year lease from owners Quinlan Estates, a family company that has owned the hotel since it was built.

The once run-down hotel underwent a five-month $650,000 refurbishment and now includes teaching areas, student accommodation, manager’s flat and soon-to-be-opened tavern.

Teaching areas are used by the new College of Business and the accommodation is used to house up to 44 American exchange students.

The university took over the hotel lease in July last year and has since worked to bring it up to standard, replacing crumbling plaster, plumbing and wiring and installing fire escapes.

The bathrooms were also renovated along with the outdoors areas that now include a repaved courtyard, outdoor furniture and shady trees.

Campus services manager Terry Craig said the building had fallen into disrepair after years of neglect and it had taken much work to bring it up to a suitable standard.

“It is now a very safe and pleasant environment for our students,” Mr Craig said.

“The students are thrilled about it, they literally get to stay in hotel accommodation.”

The university tavern, to be known as Quinlans, after the building’s original owners, will be opened on the P&O Hotel’s ground floor on July 1, the hotel’s 100th anniversary.

Mr Craig said the refurbishment of the hotel would be ongoing, with plans to redo parts of the buildings façade next on the agenda.

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