Design refinements may have postponed the start of construction on UTS’s new Blackfriars Children’s Centre, but finally it’s all systems go.
Site set-up, including the installation of safety fencing and hoardings, has been completed, and demolition of an amenities block (known as Building 26) and site excavation is now underway. Building work on the new structure is expected to commence in March.
Artist's illustration of the new Blackfriars Children's Centre
The long-awaited appearance of sledgehammers, bulldozers and jackhammers on site is delighting kids at the current Blackfriars Children’s Centre, which will continue to operate until the new facility opens.
UTS staff and others based on or visiting the site may not be quite as enthusiastic. However, the head contractor, Ichor Constructions – which recently completed a well-received refurbishment of the UTS Chancellery – will make every attempt to minimise the impact of works on staff based at the Blackfriars precinct. Noise impacts overall are not expected to be greater than those experienced during the recent construction of the new site access.
New childcare facilities
Creating a state-of-the-art early learning environment for 84 children (up from the current 50 places), the new childcare centre will include playrooms, a commercial kitchen, an outdoor space with sandpit and chicken pen, and staff spaces.
Find out more about the design of the childcare centre.
Artist's illustration of the new childcare centre's interior
Impacts and impact mitigation
UTS staff and others located at the Blackfriars precinct were contacted at the start of works in mid-January. Visitors to the precinct, please note the following:
- Access: The Blackfriars St entry is closed. All pedestrians and cyclists need to enter/exit via the Buckland St footpath.
- Bathroom facilities: The Building 26 toilets are closed, pending demolition of the building.
- Noise: Moderate noise associated with construction traffic and activities is anticipated throughout the project, with periods of noisier works during the demolition/excavation phase from early February–late March 2017.
- Hours of work: The contractor’s hours are Mon–Fri 7am–5.30pm and Sat 7am–3.30pm. Monday–Friday 12–2pm will generally see a period of quieter works.
- Safety: Fencing and hoarding is in place around the work site for your safety. Please follow the instructions of safety controllers, and be mindful of construction traffic when walking, cycling or driving in the vicinity of the precinct.
While timelines can be affected by various factors such as weather, this is the current program of works:
- Demolition/excavation works – early February–late March 2017
- Construction works – late March–September 2017
- Licensing of new centre – late 2017
- New centre opens – by 2018