Project updates

Project update: Abercrombie student accomodation awarded to John Holland

The Abercrombie Student Accommodation project was awarded to John Holland in late December 2013. Work is anticipated to commence in March 2014 following the relocation of the Boundary Lane Children’s Centre to their new purpose built premises, also at Burren Street, Newtown.

The student accommodation project will provide 200 studio-style beds on site.


Site progress March 2014

Business School site progress

Construction on the Business School is rapidly moving ahead with excavation and shoring works well advanced, with concrete slabs, foundation piles and lift shaft construction underway in the western zone of the site.

Installation of in-ground services (pipework and conduits) is progressing towards the middle of the site.

The first of two electric tower cranes (TC1) arrived on site in 2013 and is located in the corner adjacent to Darlington Lane. TC1 became operational in January 2014 and is currently unloading formwork and reinforcement from delivery trucks on Darlington Lane.

The second tower crane (TC2) is located in the south-eastern corner of the site and is became operational in February 2014.

Traffic Management and Work Zones

Traffic Management is in place at the Codrington Street entrance to the site and in Darlington Lane to direct vehicle access and to ensure the safety of other motorists and pedestrians whilst works are in progress.

Work zones have also been established along Codrington Street. One Work Zone has been established adjacent to the building site on the western side of Codrington Street, and the other is located adjacent to the Sydney University Sports and Aquatic Centre on the eastern side of Codrington Street.

The Work Zones will be in operation during the following construction hours as designated in the Project Approval:

  • Monday to Friday 7:00am to 6:00pm
  • Saturday 8:00am to 3:00pm

Community consultation

The University of Sydney and John Holland team hosted community drop-in information sessions in November and December 2013.

The community drop-in sessions will continue to be held in 2014 and will now occur on a quarterly basis with the first event scheduled to take place on the 6th March 2014 from 6.00 to 7.00 pm in the foyer of the Services Building, 22 Codrington Street, Darlington.

An update meeting was also held with the members of the Residents Acting In Defence of Darlington (RAIDD) on the 16th December, 2013

Relocation of The Shepherd Centre

The Shepherd Centre relocated to its new premises in Burren Street, Newtown in December, 2013. John Holland and the University of Sydney supported the Shepherd Centre’s final graduation ceremony at the Abercrombie Street site by providing a jumping castle and catering for the children.

Authority Approvals

Business School

John Holland submitted its “Response to Submissions Report” to the NSW Department of Planning and Infrastructure (DP&I) in relation to the Section 75W Modification application for proposed alterations to the design of the Business School, as per the conditions set out in the Planning Approval.
DP&I have approved the S75W modification for minor changes and improvements.

Student Accommodation

The University of Sydney submitted its “Response to Submissions Report” to the NSW Department of Planning and Infrastructure (DP&I) in relation to the Section 75W Modification application for proposed alterations to the design of the Student Accommodation. The modification seeks to make several amendments to the approved Abercrombie Student Accommodation Building including changes to the facade to better integrate with the terraces opposite; modifications to the internal configuration and provision of 12 extra beds; relocation of the ground floor cafe, removal of vehicle access; and modifications to the layout of the basement,

DP&I are currently assessing the application.

Project update: August-September-October 2013

Abercrombie Precinct redevelopment – August-September-October 2013

Abercrombie Precinct redevelopment – August-September-October 2013

Community Consultation

The University of Sydney and the John Holland team met with neighbours and community stakeholders of the Abercrombie site during August. Meet and greets were held with:

  • Mandelbaum House staff and residents,
  • Darlington Public School Principal, Parents & Citizens and the Director of NSW Public Schools (Marrickville Network),
  • Boundary Lane Children’s Centre Board of Management,
  • The Shepherd Centre Staff and
  • Community members including Residents Acting in Defence of Darlington (RAIDD) and REDWatch.

Community Drop In Sessions to meet the team were held on the first Thursday of August, September and October in the foyer of the Services Building, 22 Codrington Street. The next Drop In is scheduled for 7 November 2013 at 6-7pm. Stop by to meet the team and discuss the project.

Site Progress

Work has now commenced on the project with John Holland undertaking the following major activities on site during the months of August and September;

  • Establishment of site office
  • Acoustic hoardings installed adjacent to the boundary of The Shepherd Centre, Mandelbaum House, the Boundary Lane Children’s Centre and Darlington Public School.
  • Permanent closures of Rose Street and Boundary Lane as these roads now have become part of the construction site.
  • Installation of environmental controls to prevent run off into street drains
  • Installation of a misting system along Darlington Public School and Boundary Lane to mitigate dust
  • Bulk earthworks and removal of soil
  • Commencement of bored piers to the perimeter of the site

Authority Approvals

The University of Sydney submitted the Pedestrian and Bicycle Access Strategy for the areas of the Sydney University Campus within Darlington to the NSW Department of Planning and Infrastructure in September 2013 as per Condition A7 of the Planning Approval

The public exhibition phase of the Section 75W Modification application has closed, and the Department of Planning and Infrastructure is currently assessing the material provided, with a decision expected shortly.

Project update: July 2013

Abercrombie Precinct redevelopment – July 2013

Abercrombie Precinct Redevelopment – July 2013

Ground was officially broken on the project during the month of July. John Holland, the head contractor has taken possession of the site and is preparing temporary staff and visitor access for the Shepherd Centre and Boundary Lane Childrens’ Centre, in addition to service delivery access for Mandelbaum House.

What's next

  • property condition surveys for surrounding properties
  • site establishment of John Holland’s workforce facilities
  • closure of Rose St and Boundary Lane from 12 August 2013. To locate alternative carparking, please consult the University map.
  • bulk earthworks to commence in August 2013

Our first monthly drop-in session is organised for 1 August in the foyer of the Services Building, 22 Codrington Street, between 6.00-7.00pm. Stop by to meet the project team.

Project update: Traditional smoking ceremony held on site

Traditional smoking ceremony

Ancient blessing for state-of-the-art business school

Monday 15 July 2013

The University of Sydney in partnership with John Holland hosted a traditional smoking ceremony to prepare the Abercrombie Precinct Redevelopment site for construction. The ceremony was undertaken by Uncle Max Eulo, an Aboriginal elder who began by lighting twigs and leaves in a wooden Coolamon made from a gutted tree. Uncle Max blessed the site by introducing good spirits and ridding the area of negative energy. Read the full article.

Project update: Breaking ground on the Abercrombie Precinct Redevelopment

Monday 1 July 2013

Today the Hon. Barry O’Farrell Premier of New South Wales, was invited to perform the ceremonial ground-breaking, in the presence of the Chancellor of the University of Sydney, Ms Belinda Hutchinson, AM, University of Sydney Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Dr Michael Spence, and Professor Tyrone Carlin and Professor David Grant, Co-Deans of the Business School.

Project update: Head contractor appointment

Thursday 13 June 2013

John Holland a wholly owned subsidiary of Leighton Holdings Limited (ASX: LEI) has been appointed head contractor for the Abercrombie Precinct Redevelopment. Read the press release.

The University is pleased to be partnering with John Holland to build a flagship home for the University of Sydney Business School. Construction is scheduled to commence in July. Updates on the progress of the project will continue to be posted monthly.

Project update: May 2013

The University would like to thank the local community who commented on the Pedestrian and Bicycle Access Strategy that is being prepared in accordance with the Department of Planning and Infrastructure’s Project Approval, which seeks to improve connectivity to and from the Darlington Campus. We now have the material to develop a strategy that will respond to the input we have received from the local community and statutory authorities. A comprehensive report about the Pedestrian and Bicycle Access Strategy including feedback from the local community will be issued mid-year.

What's next

  • Following the completion of all site preparation works, the appointment of a head contractor is programmed to occur in June, with an expected commencement on site in July.
  • Between 30 and 31 May (weather-permitting) the City of Sydney will be carrying out some re-surfacing work along Abercrombie Street. For information on the site and its impacts please contact Greg Thompson 0407 499 603 or email
    Greg Thompson.

Project update: April 2013

Abercrombie Precinct redevelopment – April 2013

Abercrombie Precinct redevelopment – April 2013

Early works for the redevelopment of the Abercrombie Precinct progressed steadily throughout April.

The sewer diversion and reconnections to Boundary Lane and Abercrombie Street are now complete. Soil sampling on the vacant parts of the site has also been successfully completed.

What's next

  • A head contractor is scheduled to be appointed in May.
  • Boundary Lane and Rose Street will soon come under the jurisdiction of the University. Information related to parking restrictions will be posted in the vicinity and will also be available on the University’s parking page

Get involved
As a reminder, the University will be holding two community workshops on 1 and 4 May, where local residents are encouraged to provide input into the works for a $2 million pedestrian and bicycle access strategy. Find out more about the workshops.

Project update: March 2013

Abercrombie Precinct redevelopment is underway

The first phase of the University’s Abercrombie Precinct redevelopment is well underway.

Sewer diversion works have now been completed in Abercrombie Street between Codrington and Golden Grove streets. The removal of demolition materials is also largely complete, with truck movements in Rose Street expected to reduce accordingly.

What's next

  • Sydney Water will make the final connection to the diverted sewer during March.
  • The University will shortly undertake soil testing across the site, before main excavation starts towards the middle of 2013.
  • A head contractor will be appointed in mid-2013 to guide the development of the site.

In an entirely separate activity from the University development, the City of Sydney is planning traffic safety improvements in the area. This includes resurfacing Abercrombie Street between Codrington and Golden Grove streets. For more information on the City of Sydney work, please , or call him on 02 8345 1426.

Please contact us with your questions or feedback on the University's Abercrombie Precinct project.

Project update: Community update February 2013

Abercrombie Precinct community update February 2013

Friday 8 February 2013

2013 marks an exciting period for the University's plans for a new Business School building and state-of-the-art learning environment in Darlington.

Work started on the Abercrombie Precinct redevelopment in December 2012. Three buildings have been demolished, and the demountable buildings from Codrington Street have now been relocated.

To find out more, read our latest Abercrombie Precinct Community Update (PDF, 426KB)

Project update: Demolition almost complete

Friday 18 January 2013

The first phase of the University’s Abercrombie Precinct redevelopment is well underway with the demolition of three buildings almost complete.

The ‘demountable village’ is due to be relocated from Codrington Street to the northern side of the Camperdown campus by next week (21 January).

What’s next

  • Following the completion of demolition in February, the site will be leveled in preparation for the excavation phase.
  • The University will appoint a contractor for the design and construction in the next few months.
  • The main construction works are planned throughout 2013 and 2014 and the project is due to be completed by February 2015.

Please contact us with any questions or feedback.