Words || Grapeshot team
If you’ve visited campus over the summer break, you’ll have noticed that the sound of rustling gum leaves and the gentle honking of ibises has been replaced with thundering jackhammers and power drills.
Campus is undergoing major redevelopment over the next four years, and most of the deconstruction at present is focused on the Central Courtyard.
In December the 120 historic lemon-scented gums – which have stood in the courtyard for 50 years – were cut down, leaving many students and staff in shock. Property cited ‘safety concerns’ as the reason for the removal of the trees.
Next the Campus Hub was gutted after most of the tenants were kicked out, including student favourites Wicked Mexican, Thai Kiosk, and the Macquarie Uni establishment Marxine’s Cafe.
And then came the wrecking balls.
Lost in the deconstruction were iconic murals – including work by internationally renowned artist Tim Guider that was commissioned by the Student Union of old – although the artworks have been documented and archived by the Macquarie University Art Gallery.
The courtyard is now bordered off by large wooden fences.
New buildings, including an arts precinct and student accomodation blocks, are planned to be built on the area once all the buildings are removed. Some of the construction will encroach on the green space by the lake.
The newly-constructed Campus Common outside the library will be the go-to place for food and drinks for at least the next four years.
A construction site has also cropped up on Research Park Drive near Waterloo Road, blocking the usual access point for people who enter the university from the train station.
The path from the train station into the university is not accessible, so pedestrians are redirected to enter along the smaller path along Research Park Dr (lemme hear y’all say BOTTLENECK!).
A new naming system for existing Macquarie buildings has been brought into effect. Locations on campus now follow an address-like structure such as ’14 Wally’s Walk’.
The move was made in the hopes of buildings on campus having simpler and more compact names. For example, the Mason Theatre, which was known as E7B, will now be called ’14 Sir Christopher Ondaatje Avenue’.
An updated campus map is available here.
UPDATE: The usual entry path to the university has been re-opened this week.
Visit the Grapeshot stall at O-week, 19-23 Feb, to get a copy of our first issue. The mag will hit stands in Week 1 on Feb 26. Submissions for Issue 2 are open now.