Work has commenced on the Exercise Science Building at the University of Newcastle Central Coast campus, kicking off the $20 million development program.
The start of building was marked with a sod turning today at the campus by the Pro Vice-Chancellor and Director, Professor Stephen Crump, and Craig Thomson, Federal Member for Dobell.
Professor Crump said the $6.3 million Exercise Science Building would provide world-class teaching facilities for students and staff, and a gym for University staff and students.
"The University of Newcastle Central Coast campus is fast gaining a national reputation for teaching and research in sport science. This new facility will bolster our work in this emerging area."
The facility's design uses the latest approaches in environmental sustainability including solar passive construction, sustainable building materials, natural ventilation and rainwater tanks.
"In keeping with the rest of the Central Coast campus, the design of the Exercise Science Building is sympathetic to the natural landscape. The design is highly functional and contemporary, and still blends very well in our rainforest setting."
Federal Member for Dobell, Craig Thomson, said the Exercise Science Building works would inject up to $4 million into the local economy in direct construction costs.
"This development reflects the Government's commitment to investing in higher education on the Central Coast," said Mr Thomson.
"We are fortunate to have an excellent campus on the Central Coast. We are working together with the University of Newcastle to ensure that the campus is able to offer world-class teaching and learning facilities well into the future."
The building received $4.1 million from the Australian Government's Capital Development Pool and Better Universities Renewal Fund with the balance funded directly by the University of Newcastle.
Opening in 2011, the Exercise Science Building will include three specialist teaching spaces and laboratories for the exercise and sport science program, specialist spaces for psychology to support research and group work, and three general purpose classrooms that will also be available for use by the University's campus partner, TAFE.
Other major works for 2010 for the University's Central Coast campus include a new Education and Nursing Building, extensions to the campus library, new facilities for NSW Department of Primary Industry staff and an upgrade of the south west car park.
A sketch of the Exercise Science Building is available.