The UOW and the St George Illawarra Dragons have plans to further their long association by establishing a state-of-the-art Community and High-Performance Centre (CHPC) at the University’s Innovation campus.
In early 2021, the St George Illawarra Dragons entered into a Heads of Agreement with UOW with a focus on partnering with the university to deliver integrated sporting, community and education programs in one setting.
After consultation rounds with the university, the Dragons finalised UOW’s Innovation Campus precinct as a suitable and long-term site that meets the Club’s expectations of serving the community. This follows confirmation of the Dragons securing funding from the New South Wales government ahead of the upcoming 2022-23 budget announcement.
St George Illawarra Dragons proposed $60 million project includes multi-purpose spaces for the community, university and Dragons’ stakeholders’ use, including two full-sized training fields, amenities for the club’s NRL and NRLW endeavours, a community classroom, research and education spaces, lecture theatre, a cutting-edge gym, media studio and aquatic recovery facilities.
The project is expected to create 229 new jobs during construction and support more than 60 new full-time jobs once operational.
The training centre will contribute to a world-class innovation campus and help create a better future for the Dragons, UOW students and the Illawarra community by delivering activated, integrated facilities, partnerships and programs across sport, education, health and wellbeing.
The proposal consists of a premium facility of up to 5,000 m2 and up to three playing fields, including a dedicated community field, as well as improvements to pedestrian and cycle access through the precinct.
UOW Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Innovation, Enterprise and External Relations) Professor Alex Frino said the high-performance training centre will provide exciting new opportunities to build collaborative partnership programs for UOW students and the Illawarra community.
“We are delighted to extend our partnership with St George Illawarra Dragons to help create a better future for the community and our students,” Professor Frino said.
“UOW students will get access to this best in class training facility that will enable knowledge sharing, improved education and better partnership outcomes.
Q & A
1. Where will this be located on the Innovation Campus?
The overall development has been flagged for the northern end of the campus. This will mean that the existing heritage listed Nissan huts will be relocated should the development go ahead. UOW is committed to keeping the huts ‘on site’ and have engaged a heritage consultant to ensure the correct process is undertaken.
2. Who is paying for this development?
All costs of the development are to be met by the St George Illawarra Dragons, largely through the funding announced in this years budget. The Dragons will also be responsible for ongoing maintenance and other costs of the completed facility.
3. How does this development fit in with the Innovation Campus?
The University of Wollongong has an existing partnership with the St George Illawarra Dragons and are excited to extend the engagement to the Innovation Campus, connecting with community, students and locals in this area.
4. Is it known when the build will start?
The next steps involve community engagement activities which will act as an important component to the projects Development Application which will be lodged shortly. Currently there are no definitive dates set.
Yogesh Bhatia, Media and Public Relations Specialist, UOW
T: +61 2 4221 4823 | M: +61 0406 560 657 | E: firstname.lastname@example.org
UOW Media Office
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