Open Day visitors to get sneak peek at new Science building

Science building exterior 

Visitors to this year's Open Day at the Western Sydney University's Parramatta campus will be among the very first to get a sneak peek at the University's new $30 million Science building, set to open for teaching next year.

The three-storey, environmental sustainable building is a much-anticipated new facility for the campus. It will be replacing the existing science buildings at Parramatta North, which the University has outgrown.

The new, state-of-the-art building means the University can offer more science programs on campus, and for the very first time, also give students the chance to study medical science, psychology, art therapy and social work at Parramatta.

The new building affords the opportunity for significant expansion of the University's science and medical science research programs by taking advantage of the new and expanded research laboratories. These laboratories will accommodate research programs run by academic staff as well as the growing number of PhD and Masters students.

The new building is also set to become the new home for one of the University's most important scientific facilities – the Advanced Materials Characterisation Facility, or AMCF. 

Fast approaching completion, the new Science building will be open to the public for the first time at Open Day on Sunday 28 August, so prospective students can learn more about the courses on offer for next year, and see the first-class facilities in action.

Professor Gregory Kolt, Dean of the School of Science and Health, expects visitors to be highly impressed with the design and features of the new building.

"The new Science building is a very welcome addition to the campus. A great deal of planning has gone in to ensuring we are providing the very best contemporary teaching spaces and scientific research laboratories for our current and future students," says Professor Kolt.

Science building staircase 

"We are also looking forward to being co-located in one central building with our colleagues from social sciences and psychology – no doubt, this will result in greater teaching and research collaborations across our respective disciplines," he says.

Professor Kevin Dunn, Dean of the School of Social Sciences and Psychology, says he expects students will welcome the opportunity to study programs like psychology, art therapy and social work at Parramatta for the first time, in specially designed, purpose-built teaching spaces.

"Unique to Western Sydney University, our art therapy studio brings art and science together in a creative environment for best practice in art therapy education," says Professor Dunn.

"Similarly, the new social work skills labs and psychology testing labs enable students from their very first year of study to gain valuable, hands-on practical experience, giving them the best preparation for their field placements and future practice."

The building, which has a total floor area of 4,600 square metres and has the capacity for over 400 students and staff.

It includes science teaching laboratories for the University's undergraduate and postgraduate programs, an advanced simulation lab for collaborative science learning, science research laboratories, social science teaching spaces, psychology research labs and an art therapy studio.

The building also has impressive environmental credentials, as it is the University's very first six-star, green star facility – meaning it's been built to meet the world's highest sustainability standards.

Among the building's green features are highly efficient LED lighting, along with automatic controls for all lighting, cooling and ventilation to reduce inefficient operation. It also makes use of rainwater harvesting and reuse, sustainable flooring and other building materials, and landscaping that minimizes the reliance on irrigation.

Ends

24 August 2016

Amanda Whibley, Media and PR Manager