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Construction of JCU’s new student accommodation will start next month, with the University announcing Hutchinson Builders will build the $54m complex on JCU’s Townsville campus.

Hutchinson Builders’ Townsville-based team has won a competitive tender process to build the seven-storey accommodation complex.

The 10,000m2 building will house more than 400 students and provide contemporary and affordable student accommodation, featuring study bedrooms in group share accommodation, high-quality communal facilities, and a centralised, self-catered kitchen and dining space.

It will be located on Mount Stuart Street, adjacent to the Technology Innovation Complex.

It’s expected the project will create about 150 construction jobs, with an estimated 85% of subcontractors and suppliers locally sourced.

Deputy Vice Chancellor for Services and Resources Tricia Brand said JCU has a long history of working with Hutchies, and she’s delighted construction can begin soon.

“The new student accommodation complex is a crucial element of the renewal of the Townsville campus and is the first construction project in TropiQ, Townsville’s Tropical Intelligence & Health Precinct.

“We know this building will be a major drawcard for students who are looking to live on campus. It will offer high quality accommodation, and contribute to a more vibrant and dynamic campus for our students,” Ms Brand said.

Hutchinson Builders Team Leader Peter Lee said he’s pleased to continue working with Hutchies long-time client, James Cook University. “Together we’ve delivered more than 20 projects since the early 1990s in Cairns, Townsville, Mareeba, Cape Tribulation, and Thursday Island.”

“As Townsville locals since 1987, Hutchies has built in excess of 350 projects across North Queensland from our local office.”

“This long local history and experience gives us deep connections across the region. It means our projects are built by locals, for locals and support other local businesses.”

“It’s a great time to be building major projects like this in Townsville – and we’re excited to be working with JCU on it – it will be a huge boost to our local economy.”

“Hutchies is known for its commitment to training and employing First Australians into meaningful construction careers. We’re targeting 4% participation of Indigenous workers on the JCU project.”

The Federal Government has committed $46 million from its Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) to build the student accommodation on the University’s Townsville Campus. JCU will invest more than $8m in the project.

Site preparations have already begun and construction is expected to begin next month. The building will open to students in Semester One, 2022.