State of Heritage
A contribution of $1 million from the South Australian Government will help to preserve some of the University's--and the State's--priceless heritage.
There is much to delight the tourist and the local alike on Adelaide's North Terrace. The 1.6km stretch of land houses the most extensive and unique array of civic, artistic, recreation and historic institutions in Adelaide, earning it a reputation as the city's vibrant cultural heart and visitor showpiece.
But there is more to North Terrace than elegant sandstone buildings and a bevy of cultural attractions--the district is also a thriving centre of education. Nestled among some of the State's pre-eminent institutions, including the State Library, the South Australian Museum and the Art Gallery of South Australia, the University of Adelaide's North Terrace campus buzzes with university life.
Its heritage-listed buildings are in daily use for teaching, research, administration and community purposes, forming a unique environment where the city and the University come together.
South Australian Premier Mike Rann says that it is this combination of "town and gown" that saw the State Government contribute one million dollars to the University's Heritage Foundation earlier this year.
"The University remains an integral part of one of the finest collections of civic, cultural and educational institutions to be found on the one stretch of land," Mr Rann said.
"We made this contribution because we recognise the value of the University's wonderful, historic structures--not only to the University and its students and staff, but also to the State and the people of South Australia."
The State Government's gift is the largest individual contribution to the University of Adelaide Heritage Foundation since its establishment in 2005. The Foundation was established to promote the University's invaluable heritage and raise all-important funds for its ongoing maintenance.
As part of this vision, the Foundation established a perpetual trust. The Foundation is seeking to raise $20 million in its first five years, of which only the income from the principal will be expended, enabling gifts to continue in perpetuity. The State Government's contribution will be deposited in this trust, helping the University to restore, renovate and maintain its heritage for future generations.
"We are also well aware of the burden of maintaining heritage items," Mr Rann said.
"So the University's move to establish a $20 million trust to generate funds to support the ongoing maintenance task is to be congratulated."
The University's commitment to its heritage saw an extensive redevelopment of the main North Terrace heritage precinct, which was officially launched by the Premier earlier this year. The project reflects the University's commitment to open up the campus and engage with the local community, further integrating the educational and social relevance of its facilities and grounds.
This renovation complements the overall North Terrace Redevelopment Project, a $16.4 million initiative of the Government of SA and the Adelaide City Council, which aimed to revitalise the cultural, physical and economic aspects of the precinct, cementing its status as South Australia's premier arts, entertainment and tourist precinct.
"The State Government and the City of Adelaide's North Terrace Redevelopment project has been brilliantly complemented by the recent work undertaken by the University to upgrade and open up Goodman Crescent, and to restore the Mitchell Building, Bonython Hall and Elder Hall," Mr Rann said.
"These three beautiful sandstone buildings are important landmarks on North Terrace--Adelaide's principal historical and cultural boulevard."
The University of Adelaide is committed to preserving its heritage as a foundation for the future. By engaging the community and enhancing the North Terrace precinct, the University's heritage buildings enrich South Australia as a whole; a relationship that makes the State Government's million dollar gift a contribution to the University and State alike. And it is a contribution they are only too happy to make, says Mr Rann.
"The State Government is pleased to be able to support the University in sustaining our shared heritage." ■
Story Lana Guineay
The University has been preparing Conservation Management Plans for all of its heritage-listed buildings, which have highlighted the priorities for conservation and maintenance. Over the next twelve months, work on heritage buildings will be focused on the early North Terrace structures, which constitute the core of the University's heritage precinct.
The main project will be the careful conservation and repair of the external stonework of 106-year-old Elder Hall, which, in the words of the consultant who analysed the condition of this stone, is in a "seriously deteriorating" condition.
Conservation work will continue on Bonython Hall, including minor repairs to the North Terrace towers and the overall cleaning of the building, to bring the whole of the exterior to the same excellent condition as the recently conserved north elevation and turrets. This work will complete the major conservation works to this key structure.
The Mitchell Building has last year undergone refurbishment, upgrade and restoration works to internal building elements at an approximate cost of $1.2 million. Further conservation of building elements, upgrade work on the Edgeloe and Basten Rooms, and adaptation of spaces will be also a priority over 2007.