Credit: ANU

During the first stage of the $220 million Union Court and University Avenue redevelopment project, a temporary pop-up village will provide a home for university life.

The vice-chancellor, Professor Brian Schmidt, says that a pop-up village featuring food outlets, a bar, a live music venue and student services is all part of ‘creating a much better and easier campus life for everyone’.

The ANU hopes that this will better connect the university with the Canberra city.

‘While we are undertaking this revitalisation project we are installing a temporary pop-up village which will serve as the heart of the campus from mid-2017 through to early 2019 when the revitalisation is completed.

‘The new pop-up will be a vibrant new location where the ANU and the wider Canberra community can come together,’ Professor Schmidt told reporters in Union Court on Friday 25 February.

Professor Schmidt says the redevelopment is long overdue. ‘We have a huge opportunity to do it.

‘The scary part is that it’s 18 months of disruptions, so the pop-up village is really important. … I really think that’s going to be great, and so my hope is that that will ease the disruption during construction,’ he told Woroni TV.

The PARSA president, Alyssa Shaw, says that she is ‘confident’ that the pop-up will cater for the post-graduate student body. However, she noted concerns about the disruption to the post-graduate students working in the Copland building.

‘From everything I’ve seen to date, I’m confident the pop-up will be a great improvement.

‘It looks like the businesses in the pop-up will better reflect the diversity of the post-grad cohort,’ Shaw said.

Shaw noted the the pop-up and Union Court redevelopment has the potential to better cater for an older demographic, including family-friendly events. ‘I’m hoping it’ll be real positive, so people feel better about the Union Court redevelopment.’

The pop-up will have a bar run by The Burley Group, replacing the long-term operator, the ANU Union.

The Burley Group has committed to honour the history of live music at the present ANU Bar in the pop-up space and new bar in the redeveloped Union Court.

An ANU Union representative declined to comment on the pop-up and Union Court redevelopment project.

The pop-up will include food vendors BrodDogs and Mr Papa. The ANU says a competitive tender process was used to select companies involved in the pop-up.

The pop-up is set to open midway through 2017, with construction beginning in March.

The Union Court redevelopment project, slated for completion in 2019, will see the demolition of a number of existing buildings in Union Court to make way for new teaching spaces, student accommodation, gym and swimming pool facilities, a student services building, a cultures and events precinct, and underground car parking.

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