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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 36, Number 25. 3rd October 1973

Arts Centre

Arts Centre

Scale model of the planned extensions.

Scale model of the planned extensions.

The plans of the extensions to the Gymnasium are on display in the foyer this week. These extensions include the proposed arts centre. The section of the model with the liftoff roof represents the architect's first response to the ideas gathered by the Arts Centre Committee. Ian Athfield's model combines the space requirements of each activity into a structure which reflects the philosophy of the centre. The only building space available was the gap between the existing gym hall and the proposed additions. Southern developments were restricted by unsuitability of site (interference with the Cotton Building).

The ideas for an arts centre arose from discussions about the desirability of providing on campus:
1)permanent areas and equipment for pottery, screen printing, photography, painting, weaving etc.
2)areas for practice and performance of music, drama, dance, and films.
3)relaxing and recreational facilities.

It was generally agreed that in view of their similar recreational function and the availability of the site the arts centre should become part of the gym complex. This would also have the centre as part of the immediate developments and not as the highest priority on Stage II (1976—1980) planning.

Basic specifications were given by the committee from the information provided by clubs and members. For example, road access, raised platforms for performing arts, bench, cupboard, and drain areas for pottery, etc were essential.

Detailed drawing and cost estimates are the next steps. The plans of the centre are unlikely to change much from the model on display unless alternative suggestions or objections are voiced.

In the next two months information will be gathered to prepare the designing of the various activity areas. Any ideas would be welcome (at the Studass office) e.g. is there any reason why the darkroom shouldn't be on the ground level?

The addition of the arts centres plans to the overall extensions of the gym is likely to raise the costs by at least $100,000. The University Grants Committee has already indicated reservations about grants to physical welfare buildings.

Management Committee has been aware of the finance problem involved with structural developments of the Union. Sympathy has been expressed by previous executives of the Students' Association and trust funds may be available to help building programmes. The failure of the recent motion to secure an increase in Students' Association fees for an in increase in building account levy will mean Management Committee has to review its source of finance. The first priority in Union developments is the Union Tower. At the last Management Committee meeting the costs were increased by $33,000 to include a bridge from the Union Tower to the Rankine-Brown roadway.

The architect Ian Athfield has estimated costs as follows: present tower plans $700,000, bridge $33,000, Arts Centre $100,000.

The comparison of costs and functions of the Union Tower, containing "executive suites" and administrative offices, with those of the southern extensions including the arts centre may provoke a reconsideration of priorities.