Curtin University, in partnership with the State Government, have opened a redeveloped $32 million student accommodation facility in Kalgoorlie to attract high-calibre students to study mining in the region.
Deputy Premier and Training and Workforce Development Minister Liza Harvey, and Member for Kalgoorlie Ms Wendy Duncan – representing Regional Development Minister Terry Redman – opened the facility that is adjacent to Curtin WA School of Mines.
Curtin Vice-Chancellor Professor Deborah Terry said the rebuild and refurbishment of Agricola was extremely important to Kalgoorlie and the Goldfields as it would help attract high-calibre students to the region.
“The existing accommodation – which had been in operation since the 1970s – needed to be significantly upgraded to meet the needs of today’s students and to ensure the sustainable future of the Curtin WA School of Mines,” Professor Terry said.
“The project has received strong support from the local Kalgoorlie community, which is proud of the role the WA School of Mines has played in the WA mining industry over its 114 year history.”
The Agricola redevelopment was made possible by the State Government’s Royalties for Regions program, which invested $20 million, with Curtin contributing $10.8 million. Over the duration of the project, interest of $1.2 million from the Royalties for Regions contribution was accrued and re-invested into the project.
The new facility will provide high-quality accommodation for 228 students, with 180 new individual bedrooms and 48 refurbished rooms.
Accommodation will be available to students studying at the Curtin WA School of Mines, Kalgoorlie Campus, and the Central Regional TAFE.
The redevelopment is the first phase of the Kalgoorlie Campus and Curtin WA School of Mines Master Plan. Curtin has invested a further $10 million in the Kalgoorlie Campus over the last three years with the refurbishment of the campus library, laboratory upgrades, classroom redevelopment and provision of accommodation for Higher Degree by Research (HDR) students.
The Agricola redevelopment commenced in 2015 with Stage 1 completed in May 2016 and Stage 2 expected to be occupied in March 2017.
The project is a partnership between Curtin, the Department of Training and Workforce Development, the Department of Regional Development, the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder and Central Regional TAFE.