Hunter Building closure: advice to students

Wednesday, 2 December 2020

The Hunter Building on the Callaghan campus is closing and is being vacated progressively from now and during 2021. Following are some Q&As to provide more information on the what, why and when.

Hunter Courtyard

What does the Hunter Building closure mean for you?

Over the next few weeks, you will notice some changes to levels A and B as these levels are vacated by the end of the year. This includes:

  • General teaching spaces have been removed from the timetable.
  • The Huxley Library will close on 16 December. All services, staff and collections will be transferred to the Auchmuty Library.
  • All retail outlets will close by the end of the year.

Next year, the remainder of the Hunter Building on levels of C, D, E and G, and the specialised teaching spaces throughout the building will be vacated.

Why is the Hunter Building being closed?

The University recently undertook a feasibility study to determine the future of the Hunter Building. The study showed that the time and cost required to upgrade the building would be prohibitive due to the building fabric and its age.

Based on this advice, we have decided not to undertake any major refurbishments, and to start a process of progressively moving all activities from the Hunter Building.

When will the Huxley Library close?

The Huxley Library will close at 5pm on 16 December 2020. The Huxley team and all services and support will be transferred to the Auchmuty Library from the next day.

From 17 December a ‘click and collect’ service will be provided while the collections are relocated to the Auchmuty Library. The staged relocation of collections will take time and regular updates will be provided on the Library Homepage to ensure students know how to access what they need.

In January and February, the Library will be running tours for students to re-orient them with the Auchmuty Library space. These tours will include showcasing the new homes of collections from the Huxley Library.

To stay up to date visit the Library Homepage.

When will retail close? Where else can I get food and coffee? What about the student kitchen?

Retail in the Hunter Building will close by the end of the year. For those people who will still be in the Hunter Building in 2021, coffee and food is close by at the Bar on the Hill and the Forum cafe.

The nearest student kitchens to the Hunter Building are in the Richardson Wing on level 2. The UNSA (previously NUSA) Building near the Bar and Park on the Hill also has a student kitchen.

Where can I hang out?

We appreciate that many students use the outdoor lounge areas opposite the cafes on level A of the Hunter Building. These will not be available in 2021. The Park on the Hill near the Bar on the Hill and the Student Services building is very close to the Hunter Building and offers a great place to hang out.

What about the ATM at the Hunter Building?

The Hunter Building ATM located on level A has been closed permanently. The closest ATM is at the Commonwealth Bank near the Bar on the Hill and the Student Services Building. An ATM is also located on level 2 of the Shortland Union Building.

What is the timing of the building closure?

The Hunter Building is being progressively closed from now until mid-2021 over two stages:

  • Stage 1

Stage 1 started in October 2020 and is primarily focused on Levels A and B, with staff from the School of Education on level C also moving during this stage. General teaching spaces have been removed from the timetable and a process is in train to identify workspaces for staff who are on these levels. The Huxley Library and retail outlets will also be closed by the end of the year.

  • Stage 2

Stage 2 started in October and is due to conclude mid-2021. The focus is on vacating the remainder of people from the building on levels of C, D, E and G, and the specialised teaching spaces throughout the building.

Is there a health and safety risk?

No. There has not been a specific incident or event concerning health and safety in the Hunter Building that has prompted the closure.

We appreciate that health and safety is a concern for some. To reassure people, the existing Hunter Building asbestos management plan has been expanded to provide monthly monitoring and testing.

The team has also implemented new fire and emergency evacuation strategies, including recruiting additional evacuation wardens. An expanded security presence is in place to help in any emergency. These are supplementary measures above the required needs.

Are the Richardson Wing and Bowman Building part of the closure?

No, the Richardson Wing and Bowman Building are not affected by the closure. Staff and students in these buildings will remain following the closure of the Hunter Building.

What will happen to the building?

The University is considering next steps for the Hunter Building once all staff and students have been relocated. The focus right now is working with those who are in the building to find new accommodation.

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