After the numerous complaints about the structural safety and cleanliness of the student village, Victoria University has decided to construct an entirely new student accommodation facility across from its Footscray Park campus.
Rumoured to be finished by the beginning of the 2016 academic year, the proposed facility will provide the university with a premium on-campus housing offer at an affordable rate. Neighbouring residents have criticised the lack of consultation about the project, expressing concern about the implications of the buildings which will tower twelve stories above ground level.
The proposed student accommodation will unfortunately result in limited parking and loss of privacy for those residing nearby. Not to be dismissed is the impact of the prolonged construction and associated inconveniences. Mel and Ally Doyle own a house across from the construction site and have said, ‘It’s going to affect the value of these homes quite considerably’.
You cannot deny the necessity of this project given the current state of the existing student village in Maidstone. An entire section of which has been deemed dangerous with the flooring of the second storey disappearing beneath your feet. Asking to remain anonymous, a resident of the student village has reported, ‘There is profound water damage in my unit with mould growing in the bathroom and water leaking from my roof’. He has stated, ‘It’s a depressing place to live… You can’t help but feel miserable when you wake up and look outside your window to see grey brick and broken buildings’.
The new student accommodation facility will consist of a series of four buildings and will house 500 students. Dual occupant and multi-occupant apartments will be available with common and recreation areas for student use. VU expects that the project will attract both international and domestic students, thus improving enrolments in the future.
A spokesman for the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development reiterated that the existing accommodation is no longer fit for purpose and stated, ‘The proposed new building will allow the university to provide quality accommodation options for students at the Footscray Park campus.’
Written by Lola Alberts
Photographer: Jessica Anderson