Medical school at CSU Orange on track to start construction within months

PLAN: How the CSU Orange campus will look with the new medical school buildings in yellow on this design plan. Photo: Supplied
PLAN: How the CSU Orange campus will look with the new medical school buildings in yellow on this design plan. Photo: Supplied

Construction of the $10.5 million buildings to house the $22 million medical school at Charles Sturt University is set to start in October/November.

The school could benefit Dubbo students who want to stay in the region to study medicine and not move to a city campus.

A CSU spokesperson said its position has always been to have a rural medical school for rural students to provide doctors for the bush.

A development application for the work passed through Orange City Council this week.

The plans are set to be considered by the Joint Regional Planning Panel at its July meeting.

Stephen Butt, CSU's executive director of facilities management, said the plans were on course to have the new buildings ready for the first intake of 37 medical students in January/February 2021.

It is not going to be iconic, it will be functional.

Stephen Butt, CSU executive director of facilities management

"We're currently finalising a tender for the demolition of three-four buildings which are currently on the footprint," he said.

Mr Butt said that work should be finished by the end of September with the 12-month construction period to start before the end of the year.

SIDE VIEW: The western elevation of the new medical school buildings. Photo: Supplied

SIDE VIEW: The western elevation of the new medical school buildings. Photo: Supplied

The new buildings will include teaching space, study areas and facilities on three levels of two linked buildings.

He said alterations and re-development of several other campus buildings would be done at the same time.

Mr Butt said the new buildings would be in keeping with CSU's sustainability focus.

"It is not going to be iconic, it will be functional," he said.

The DA presented to council said roof-mounted solar panels would provide 33 per cent of the power needed to run the buildings.

PLAN: The eastern elevation of the new buildings. Photo: Supplied

PLAN: The eastern elevation of the new buildings. Photo: Supplied

Meanwhile CSU is also looking to establish a clinical education centre for students within the Bloomfield Health precinct.

He said with many of the lecturers being doctors and health professionals who worked at the Orange Health Service, and the need for medical students to be working clinically in the hospitals, a centre was needed in that area.

"That could potentially be [placed] in the commercial building," he said.

Mr Butt said while CSU's immediate focus was the construction of the new buildings on campus the Bloomfield precinct centre "needs to be our next focus."

The DA presented to council said the new buildings would eventually add 74 students and 50 staff to the precinct but, no additional parking spaces were needed as the current spaces were adequate.

It said an audit showed at any one time only 64 per cent of the university's car spaces were used.

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