SMU to redevelop city campus in $20m project

An artists' impression of the Creative Learning Centre. -- PHOTO: SMU
An artists' impression of the Creative Learning Centre. -- PHOTO: SMU
An artists' impression of the Basement Concourse. -- PHOTO: SMU
An artists' impression of the Basement Concourse. -- PHOTO: SMU
An artists' impression of the New Fitness Centre. -- PHOTO: SMU
An artists' impression of the New Fitness Centre. -- PHOTO: SMU
An artists' impression of the Campus Green. -- PHOTO: SMU  
An artists' impression of the Campus Green. -- PHOTO: SMU  

SINGAPORE - The Singapore Management University (SMU) announced plans on Friday to redevelop its city campus, so as to ease its space crunch and bring back the buzz to the civic district.

The $20 million project which will start in August and end in 2017, will add more teaching and learning spaces.

The centrepiece will be a 240-seater amphitheatre on the green space between the National Museum of Singapore and the Singapore Art Museum that will be used for open-air performances.

A three-storey fitness centre and co-curricular centre with glass facades will rise next to the green. The university is also studying the possibility of adding a jogging path that will thread through the campus.

SMU President Arnoud De Meyer said the university was committed to providing adequate and flexible learning spaces, as well as collaboration and recreational spaces that meet the needs of its students.

The campus plan drawn up 15 years ago when the university opened its doors aimed to cater to 6,000 students.

But student numbers have since swelled to 8,800. As a result some programmes are conducted in the evenings and on Saturdays.

Prof De Meyer said the new facilities, centred round the campus green, will also allow the university to increase its engagement with the larger community.

"By 2017 when the project is completed, I envisage that Campus Green will be a 'playground' where students, stakeholders, and members of the public will interact and mingle; formally and informally; through performances, fitness activities and sports," he said.

"I am confident that SMU Campus Green can become the pulsating heartbeat of the Bras Basah precinct once again."