Building works start on new Presbyterian theological college at Burwood

Published 22 November 2012
The Presbyterian Church of Australia in NSW has commenced development of its brand new, purpose built theological centre at Burwood. The start of the development is the culmination of more than five years of planning and receipt of the development consent granted in May 2011.

The multi-million dollar development will also accommodate 42 generous senior's independent living units of one to three bedrooms, communal facilities and basement parking, over two vertical towers of five and 10 levels. Both facilities will have separate street addresses with the theological centre fronting Clarence St and the units on Shaftesbury Rd. The new centre replaces the existing college, which in a previous life was a squash court complex.

It will provide modern facilities for the 'engine room' of the Church to the growing theological student numbers and as Principal Ian Smith has said, "to be able to function in a purpose built facility, equipped for 21st century teaching and with room to accommodate our current and future needs."

The recent sales and marketing program has generated over 80 per cent of registrations for the independent living units, prior to site start. The appointed builder is Duffy Kennedy, who was selected following a comprehensive tender process.

The development's innovative design sets a new standard for the Presbyterian Theological Centre. The Centre covers 2300sqm over four levels, including a two level library (capacity for over 100,000 books), a 300 seat hall/chapel, expansive dining and lounge area, outdoor seating and basement parking for the college and visitors. The existing heritage building has been cleverly integrated into the Centre to accommodate reception, administration, meeting and lecture rooms.

The seniors units will be owned and operated by the Presbyterian Church (NSW) Property Trust and managed by another arm of the Church, Presbyterian Aged Care (PAC). The staging of the development will enable the continued operation of the
Theological Centre during the building phase with minimal disruption.

The first stage is expected to be completed late 2013 with Stage two scheduled for completion late 2014.

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