ANU Bruce Hall Alumni Association 'devastated' by demolition decision
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ANU Bruce Hall Alumni Association 'devastated' by demolition decision

The head of the Bruce Hall Alumni Association says some devastated former residents will never return to the Australian National University after the Federal Court gave the green light for demolition to begin on the residential college.

A temporary stop work order granted on Saturday to prevent weekend works ahead of this week's court hearing was overturned by Justice Michael Wigney in Sydney on Tuesday morning.

Projections of what the new Bruce Hall residential towers at the Australian National University will look like.

Projections of what the new Bruce Hall residential towers at the Australian National University will look like.

An ANU spokesman said: "ANU will now proceed with its plans in accordance with approvals granted by both the National Capital Authority and the Department of Environment and Energy.

"The development will provide accommodation for 800 students and is expected to open in 2019."

Bruce Hall Alumni Association president Bec Duncan said the group would turn its focus from protecting the building to "supporting the current residents through this difficult time".

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The association has battled Bruce Hall's demolition for months.

"Some alumni are so distressed that they will never return to ANU," Ms Duncan said.

"For most of us our long and deeply felt connections to the ANU will be totally severed by this demolition.

"We hold grave fears for the preservation of heritage on campus if the ANU continues its current program of reckless destruction of our public buildings."

Ms Duncan said the association's case, centred on the hall's social and architectural values, was supported by the Environment Department's own court documents.

"We will be asking the ANU to do more to preserve our community," she said.

The National Capital Authority approved the demolition of Bruce Hall's accommodation wings in February with permission to demolish the dining hall granted last month.

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The completed site will feature two accommodation towers in place of the resident campus.

The university has set up a special committee tasked with identifying, collecting and storing significant artefacts, artwork, documents, furnishings, furniture and objects linked with Bruce Hall.

Emily Baker is a reporter for the Sunday Canberra Times. She previously reported on education for The Canberra Times.