Around 80 per cent of the books and resources at Swanston Academic Library will be moved to the Bundoora campus during upcoming renovations at the university’s city campus.
Construction for the New Academic Street is expected to begin later this year and will include the renovation of the library in Building 8.
The student union has warned RMIT that existing student spaces are already struggling to service the 20,000 students on the city campus and there are concerns the library renovations will only exacerbate the problem.
Despite requests, an RMIT staff member was not available to interview about how the renovations will impact students.
But in a statement, a spokesperson said arrangements had not been finalised.
“There will be some affects on the Library, which is inevitable when considering the plans include refurbishing the Library and delivering 40 per cent more study spaces for students,” the spokesperson said.
Catalyst understands that during renovations, a transfer service will be available to students in the city campus who need access to library resources that have been moved to Bundoora.
Catalyst also understands the university will keep the most frequently accessed books and resources on the city campus throughout the refurbishment.
But the president of RMIT University Student Union (RUSU) James Michelmore said that while the renovations will provide more student spaces in the long term, the union was concerned about what will be available throughout the three-year construction period.
“Our real concern at the moment is whether RMIT will maintain study and meeting spaces for students during the NAS construction,” Mr Michelmore told Catalyst.
“RUSU wants to ensure students are not unduly inconvenienced or disadvantaged over the next three years of construction and we continue to lobby RMIT to this end.”
The projected finish date for the NAS construction is in 2016.
By Allison Worrall
Image: Alan Weedon
For more information on the NAS, RMIT has a dedicated page to the works, here.