The University has vacated and closed its P.E. and Dance facilities, locking out community groups, but has no plans for redeveloping the buildings as yet.
“With the finishing of the dance curriculum near the end of last year, the School of Physical Education, Sport and Exercise Sciences has relinquished the use of two Dance studios in 665 Cumberland St,” said a University spokeswoman. “The University is actively limiting use of this building because it has a low seismic rating and is earthquake prone,” so it “was sensible to vacate the dance studios as soon as the University no longer required them for teaching”.
The University does not currently have plans to redevelop or earthquake-strengthen these buildings. Alterations are being made to the remaining P.E. buildings to accommodate staff who will be vacated from 665 Cumberland, but the “future University requirements” for the dance studios are “currently unknown”.
“The University is focusing on a substantial building programme at present, and needs to work through these priority capital works before embarking on any new projects, so there may be some delay in considering any future proposal or plan for the building”.
The University acknowledges that “the loss of space is unfortunate,” as the “dance facility has continued to be used by community groups”.
A former Dance student said the closure of these facilities is more than unfortunate, “it’s incredibly disappointing. I am a dance teacher in a high school now and I know for sure that if I couldn't have used those facilities for my professional development while I was studying I may not have been in the position I am in today. The cancellation of [dance] papers was devastation enough, let alone simply not letting dance flourish at the University at all”.