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JCU's city campus taking shape ahead of 2017 opening

The battle for tertiary education supremacy in Cairns continues to heat up with James Cook University's new CBD campus set to take on CQUni's nearby establishment.


About 50 local contractors employed on the refurb of James Cook University's new CBD campus are on track to complete the project in time for the grand opening for the start of Semester 1 in February next year.

JCU Chancellor Bill Tweddell said the new City Campus on Shields St would allow JCU law students to "sharpen their courtroom skills" in the moot court and provide after-work study options for business students.

The campus design by MMP Architects features flexible spaces rather than traditional teaching facilities, as well as cutting-edge technology.


The Business Liaison Association and North Queensland Primary Health Network will have office space at the campus, while the boardroom and high speed video conferencing will be available for hire by local businesses and organisations.

CPB Project Manager Mark Bombadieri said more than 90 per cent of the total workforce on the project are locals.

“We’re proud to be a part of the Cairns City Campus and JCU’s investment in the Cairns community,” Mr Bombadieri said.

“The Campus will contribute significantly to the atmosphere and vibe of the Shields Street enhancement development.

"Along with JCU, CPB Contractors is committed to providing opportunities for local industry through this development.”

Vice-Chancellor Sandra Harding said the new campus would be an "inviting and inspiring" space.

"It will showcase the tropics and feature work by local artists,” Professor Harding said.

“We see it as a meeting place, where students and regional professionals can develop their skills, where we can add value to the Cairns and regional economies and where tropical knowledge of many kinds will be shared.

"The design and construction is bringing that vision to life.”

Deputy Vice Chancellor and Head of JCU’s Cairns campus Professor Robyn McGuiggan said the downtown base would be a hub for hundreds of the university's health, nursing and medical sector students.

“It will provide medical education and administrative support to doctors training to be GPs in the Cairns coastal region, and will be headquarters for northern Queensland’s Primary Health Network, so for many of our medical students this will continue to be an important base beyond graduation,” Professor McGuiggan said.