Doors open for students

Minister MacTiernan speaking at opening event.

Keen students were ready to move in at the first opportunity after Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan opened the Great Southern’s new affordable student accommodation, 121 Serpentine, on Thursday 28 January. Advance Housing said the first resident was planning to settle in for the 2021 academic year on the day after the opening, and more students would soon follow.

Minister MacTiernan lauded the student accommodation as a glorious structure that was woven into the redevelopment of the Alison Hartman Gardens and the Albany Town Hall, strengthening Albany as a university town.

The GSDC developed the business case for the $16 million project, which included $11 million of State Government funding, along with $4 million in land provided by the Department of Education.

Despite the impact of COVID-19 on international student numbers, more than half of the 40 accommodation units in Albany’s CBD will be occupied at the start of the academic year. Residents enjoy self-contained rooms, parking and common areas.

In conjunction with the opening, a seminar room in the building was dedicated to the memory of the late GSDC staffer Gavin Ellis, who passed away in 2020 but was instrumental in the early days of the project.

In the photos: Top, Minister MacTiernan opens the 121 Serpentine affordable student accommodation; bottom, Minister MacTiernan and Penni Ellis, wife of the late Gavin Ellis, unveil a plaque in the Gavin Ellis Seminar Room.

Minister MacTiernan and Penni Ellis unveil plaque

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