The University of Tasmania has purchased the heritage-listed Philip Smith Centre building on Hobart’s Domain, the University’s original sandstone home, as it plans for its new CBD campus.
The building was completed in 1910 and officially opened in 1911 as the Philip Smith Training College, the State’s first purpose-built teacher training facility.
A group of Glebe residents bought the building more than 20 years ago and formed Hobart Discovery Inc (HDI) to ensure the building was preserved and made available for community use.
HDI has managed the building since and maintained it with community support.
HDI spokesperson Cathy Mayhead said: “As a result of our presence in Philip Smith Centre, we have been influential in preserving the whole site for educational purposes.
“HDI is delighted to be able to hand over the building to the University of Tasmania, and thanks the Glebe residents and wider community for their support during our 22 years of operation at the site.”
University of Tasmania Vice-Chancellor Rufus Black said: “At our Appreciative Inquiry summit in November, we heard very clearly from participants that they wanted to see a future CBD campus which preserves the Domain as a special space as the green heart of our future campus.
“As home to the State’s first teacher training facility, the Philip Smith building has an unbroken link to education and the community in Tasmania, and as such is a model for the interaction we want to create between the University and the city in the future.
“After several years of discussions with HDI, we are delighted to have created a shared vision for the building’s future.
“Our new CBD campus needs to create a sense of community, not just among students and staff, but also with the broader Hobart community, as a place of learning for all of life.”
The University is currently undertaking a master planning process to decide the future University tenants for each of its city sites.