Northern firm Vos Construction has secured the first major construction tender for the University of Tasmania’s Inveresk campus, part of Launceston’s biggest ever infrastructure project.

The $21.7 million contract for the University’s Library and Student Experience building will provide vital economic stimulation in the Northern region as Tasmania continues to grapple with the impacts of COVID-19.

The development is part of the Northern Transformation Program, a $300 million partnership between the University and local, state and federal governments to grow educational attainment, build distinctive campuses in Burnie and Launceston and revitalise regional economies.

University of Tasmania Vice-Chancellor Professor Rufus Black said delivering the Northern Transformation Program was more critical than ever.

“A project of this scale has enormous direct and indirect benefits for the local economy and it is exciting to see those benefits flow as work progresses,” Professor Black said.

“Alongside creating more educational opportunities and distinctive, contemporary campuses for Tasmanian students, supporting the regional economy has always been an important goal for the University and our partners.

“In these challenging times, certainty and strong forward momentum on the Northern Transformation Program is vital – funding is securely in place, planning is well advanced and our work schedules in Burnie and Launceston remain on track.”

The Library and Student Experience building is the first of three new University buildings that will be developed at the Inveresk Educational and Cultural Precinct between now and 2024. Internationally renowned John Wardle Architects (JWA) are the principal consultants for the Northern Transformation project.

A staged approach to construction is designed to maximise economic benefit and support local industry. Stage One includes the Library and a pedestrian and cycle bridge across the North Esk River, which is being built by North-West Tasmanian firm BridgePro Engineering. Vos Construction estimates 120 full time equivalent workers will deliver the Library. About 40 full time equivalent workers from BridgePro are employed delivering the bridge and early piling work.

The Library and Student Experience building will be open and welcoming to the community

The Library and Student Experience building will be open and welcoming to the community

Vos Construction and Joinery Pty Ltd Northern Construction Manager Brent Wilcox said the company was proud to be involved in a project that was so important to Northern Tasmania.

“The timing of this project enables Vos to maintain our workforce during a challenging period where other projects have been put on hold or stopped indefinitely.

“The 17-month construction program will facilitate our continued commitment to local industry, where over 120 tradespeople will be employed throughout the project while also supporting local businesses and suppliers” Mr Wilcox said.

The first build has a total value of $25 million and is scheduled for completion at the end of next year. Piling work for the build was completed by BridgePro earlier this year.

Construction of the bridge remains on track and is due to be complete by December. The bridge is a key element of the project and will link the new Inveresk Precinct to the city. With piling work soon complete, the installation of the main spans of the bridge will begin in August.

Construction of the pedestrian and cycle bridge is underway, due for completion at the end of this year

Construction of the pedestrian and cycle bridge is underway, due for completion at the end of this year

The Northern Transformation Program is a partnership between the University, the City of Launceston, the Burnie City Council, the Tasmanian Government and the Australian Government. It is a key part of the Launceston City Deal.