Work to transform the Old Armidale Teachers' College into a State Government Department of Regional NSW (DRNSW) hub and restore some of its key heritage features is well underway,
Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall last week inspected progress on the $2 million, first-stage, of the building's refurbishment.
In June last year Armidale was announced as one of four sites to be home to the newly-formed Department of Regional NSW, which started the hunt to find suitable premises to house the 100 new public servants coming to the city.
Less than a month later, Mr Marshall showed Department of Regional NSW Secretary Gary Barnes through the Old Armidale Teachers' College, as a prospective location for the new department.
At the time, Mr Marshall said the community had been waiting for an opportunity like this to come along since the University of New England walked away from the building in 2018.
"Once complete, the hub will become the home of up to 100 new jobs in Armidale, joining three quarters of the department's staff who are already based in the regions and living in the communities they serve," Mr Marshall said this week.
"This project will not only stimulate the local economy by creating more government and construction jobs in the area, but it will also rejuvenate a much-loved, prominent building in the community."
The first stage of the fit-out at will deliver 60 work points, as well as staff collaboration space, meeting rooms and staff facilities.
Mr Marshall said this was the best possible outcome for the preservation of the heritage listed CB Newling building.
"It will breathe new life into this grand old dame of the city," he said.
Building contractor Corporate Interior Projects Pty Ltd has been appointed to complete the first stage of internal fit out works. The company is committed to using local trades and suppliers, with a focus on supporting greater participation by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
The work at the facility also includes upgrading space to provide new and improved facilities for the New England Conservatorium of Music (NECOM).
Mr Marshall said they were also working with the community group, Friends of Teachers College to install a lift to provide greater community accessibility to the premises.
The first stage of the college fit-out work is anticipated to be completed later this year.
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