Bangalay, Wollongong University

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The latest addition to the University of Wollongong’s growing number of student accommodation facilities is on track to welcome its first residents early next year.

Named ‘Bangalay’ after the eucalyptus tree whose bark was commonly used by the Dharawal people – the region’s traditional owners – to build shelters, the 254-bed facility is a new home among the gum trees that line Northfields Avenue.

Offering accommodation for mature-age and postgraduate students, Bangalay has a mix of single and double bed studios, along with two and three-bedroom units for students with families.

All units are fully self-contained with their own kitchen and living facilities.

Residents also have access to shared recreation, study and meeting areas.

Fees vary from $335 per week for a single studio room to $480 for a three-bedroom unit. The new precinct has been built directly across the road from the university’s main campus and next door to UOW’s existing ‘Graduate House’ accommodation.

Similar, albeit older, rooms at Graduate House set students back $280 per week for a single bedsit and $390 for a three-bedroom unit.

UOW vice-chancellor Professor Paul Wellings, who toured the Bangalay construction site on Monday, said the project was progressing on time and on budget as it entered its final stages.

The Mercury was also given access to the building, where workers were busy assembling furniture and putting on the finishing touches.

The first residents are expected to move in ahead of the 2017 academic year, which begins on February 27.