Development of the Campus - The 1970s and 1980s
In 1971 a joint site plan developed by the University and Roy Simpson was released. It retained some of Simpson’s suggestions, but not all. For example, rather than a series of grand pedestrian courts, only Union Court was constructed. University Avenue was also reworked to serve as a key pedestrian precinct and main gateway to the University. Construction also got underway on more key buildings including Melville Hall, AD Hope Building, Student Union Building, Sports Union Building and Life Sciences Library.
It was just after this flurry of development that there were dramatic changes to funding for the University, particularly following the abolition of student fees in 1972 and a shift away from state-based funding of capital works. By 1975 capital funding for the ANU had halved and by the end of the decade it had dwindled to almost nothing. With scant funding available, the 1976 site plan would be the last plan released until 1992. During this time the focus was largely on much smaller projects such as landscaping and small additions, particularly around the Arts Precinct. There was no significant construction work on campus between the years 1979 and 1985.
This is not to say that there were no site developments between the late 1970s and 1990s, but the University was forced to think more creatively about how projects could be funded. In the late 1980s, two key construction projects were undertaken outside of the main capital works grants program and relied in part on funds gained through the rental of office space, these were the ANUTECH Building and the Crawford Building.
The University also used funds gained from its investment in housing to fund some other capital works, including the extensions to the Biochemistry Building and Research School of Earth Sciences. During the same period, the University undertook a major relocation project, to use existing buildings more effectively. This involved the relocation of Geology, Geography and Engineering. The University was also successful in gaining funding from the Department of Employment, Education and Training (DEET) for the construction of the Manning Clark Centre.
Banks, J & Gaardboe, M 1996, Buildings and Landscapes: the Australian National University, Canberra, ANU Division of Facilities and Services and Public Affairs, Canberra.
Dexter, D 1991, The ANU Campus, Australian National University Press, Canberra.