Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall turned the cermonial first sod on the new $117 million construction about the take place at the old Armidale High School. Mr Marshall told the small crowd gathered that it was a monumental project that would revolutionise the way education was delivered.
Armidale Secondary College principal Carolyn Lasker said it was very exciting to see the first sod turned because it made it all real.
It will really cement Armidale’s reputation as an education capital.- Adam Marshall
“Just to be here this morning and see all the bunting around the perimeter, and actually have that shovel inserted into the earth makes it very real for us,” she said.
“We’re really excited about the next two years when we can put things in place, particularly around the pedagogy and learning, that’s the most important aspect for us.
“But today, it’s about the here and now and the business of educating the kids 2019 and 2020. Facilities are fantastic at the Duval site. It’s been very well planed out in terms of the space, and where the demountables are located.”
A member of Armidale Regional Council’s Growth Committee Andrew Murat said the college would be a fantastic asset for Armidale.
“In the construction phase it’s creating 400 jobs which is going to be a major economic boost for the Armidale community over the next two years,” he said.
“It will be one of the most encompassing educational facilities in NSW anywhere.
“It’s got every subject you could ever want will be available here for students, and they’re got a link to the university to cater for more advanced learning for the senior kids.”
Mr Marshall said the new campus was set to be built on the existing 18-hectare former Armidale High School campus, would cater for up to 1,500 students and deliver new school buildings with 79 new air-conditioned learning spaces equipped with the latest technology, specialised spaces for industrial arts, hospitality and agricultural studies and improved performing arts and sports facilities.
I am pleased that 20 per cent of the project workforce will also be apprentices and many local contractors will get work on this project.- Adam Marshall
Armidale Secondary College will also be home to a state-of-the-art ‘smart farm’ allowing students to learn from the latest agricultural technologies and methods in a purpose-designed indoor and outdoor learning area.
“Education and agriculture are both pillars of our local community, which is why I am so proud to be delivering to our students a terrific new learning environment that offers the very best of both,” he said.
“I want to ensure as much of the $117 million for the new school stays in the local economy and to that end.
“The economic impact of the construction phase will be enormous and keep many local businesses going through what has been a very tough 18 months with drought.”
Mr Marshall said the new school would be a key part of the Armidale community and completely change how people perceived a high school education.
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