Construction work on the $121 million Armidale Secondary College is hard to miss when you drive along Kentucky Street, but it is not until you get a bird's-eye view, above the barrier mesh surrounding the work, that you get a better idea of what is happening inside the site.
Aerial photos taken by a drone for the Department of Education were released by the Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall on Monday morning. They offered a unique perspective on the scale of the educational development.
Mr Marshall said the project was progressing on schedule, and he was pleased to provide the images.
"All up, the entire footprint of the school will be 18 hectares," he said.
"From the air you can see the extensive ground works undertaken since the former buildings were demolished, with thousands of tonnes of soil moved onsite to allow building to start.
"Every centimetre of the former Armidale High School campus being utilised to deliver the best education precincts anywhere in country NSW."
Mr Marshall said scaffolding was now up around the the historic Armidale High School central building, due to be transformed into the school's new Creative and Performing Arts Department. He said plans and the business case were being finalised on the $18 million regional multi-purpose performing arts centre.
"I'm working with the Department of Education to finalise the designs and business case for this cultural facility," he said.
"The performing arts centre will be the jewel in the crown for this development. Seating for upwards of 400 people will allow it to stage musicals, theatre productions school presentations and conferences, all of which will generate new income into the local economy.
"The latest census data shows Education and Training is the region's largest employer. So, by bringing education and the arts together I believe not only can we foster new creative talent, but we can also encourage a growth industry to deliver jobs and attract new visitor dollars to the city."