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Salient: Victoria University Students' Newspaper. Vol. 24, No. 11. 1961

Chronological History of the Buildings

Chronological History of the Buildings


A gymnasium is erected to house the social and general college activities, at a cost of,£976 the Students' Association contributing £402, the Government £574.


The Students' Association is painfully aware of the inadequacies of the old Gymnasium and advises the University Council of £670 in hand to form the nucleus of a building fund. The Association at this time also set up the first building committee comprising Messrs S. Eichelbaum, W. H. Gould, W. Perry, J. M. A. Hott, G. Dixon, G. G. G. Watson, T. L. McDuff, W. P. Rollings, R. J. Reardon, G. Parkinson, S. Perry, E. C. Fussell.


The building committee presents to University Council proposals for the sitting of the building, extensive draft plans for a three -storey building, and advises that the "funds In hand now total £1587. It is agreed by the Council the Gymnasium site could be used for "a Union Building.


The Students' Association sets up a Building Committee, comprising: Messrs G. Dixon, W. P. Rollings, C. S. Plant, H. R. C. Wild and W. Aimers, to report in further detail on the facilities required in a Student Union. They estimate the student roll as 1500 in 1986. The building fund continues to grow from student contributions at the rate of £200 p.a.


The University Council decide to erect a Students' Union building as a memorial to the men who served in the War, and to mark the jubilee of the foundation of the College.


The then Minister of Education, Hon. H. G. R. Mason, advises the Association that the Government will grant a £2 for £1 subsidy of up to £40,000.


A successful appeal was made for public support and many generous donations swelled the building fund from £15,000 to £35,000.


Building restrictions prevent the commencement of final planning and long term forecasts show that the present roll of 2,400 students would be doubled by 1965. Not only was a much larger sum needed for a consequent bigger building, but building costs steadily rose and made the fund seem even smaller.


Saturation Group are appointed architects for the project.


Sketch plans are presented and sitting agreed on.


It has become increasingly apparent that with rising building costs and student roll numbers the building was going to cost considerably more. Accordingly a deputation waited on the Government with a request for an increased subsidy, and for permission to proceed with the preparation of working drawings and the calling of tenders.


The students vote to pay £1 per student per year to the building fund and undertake to go on paying until a loan of £50000 is extinguished.

The then Minister of Education, Mr Algie, informs the University Council that further subsidy money will be made available.


Working drawings are prepared and building commences on the main building.


Work commences on the New Gymnasium and four tennis courts to complete the project.


A final public appeal is launched to fully furnish and equip the buildings.


The Student Union Buildings are opened by the Minister of Education.