The University of Newcastle has confirmed it will conduct a staged closure of it’s Hunter Building citing safety concerns. 

The Hunter Building was constructed in the early 1970s and like many buildings of its era, asbestos materials were used in its construction. 

The University says while it has continued to take preventative, industry-standard safety measures, the measures are not sustainable long term, and the building has reached the end of it’s life. 

“Please be reassured that these new measures are being taken with staff and student wellbeing and safety as the priority,” says Vice Chancellor, Alex Zelinsky. 

The University recently commissioned a further feasibility study to determine the future of the building, which showed the time and cost required to upgrade the building’s features was unfeasible due to the building fabric and age. 

On Monday, teaching activities began relocating from the building to other parts of the University. The Huxley Library will continue to be used until alternative arrangements are put in place.

The University aims to have the building entirely vacated by mid-2021.

The current Hunter Building asbestos management plan will continue until the building is fully vacated.