Friday, February 23, 2024

PM turns first sod on $33.5m Orange conservatorium project

Orange City Council Mayor, Jason Hamling, has welcomed Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to the city as work begins on the new $33.5 million Orange Regional Conservatorium (ORC) and Planetarium.

The Prime Minister visited Orange in the state’s Central Tablelands yesterday for a ceremony to turn-the-first-sod and signalling the start of the 18-month project.

Site preparation work has begun along with earthworks to remove top soil and level the site ahead of excavations for the building’s foundations.

Council awarded the tender to local construction company, Renascent, which also built the Orange Regional Galley extension and is currently building the new Wentworth Golf Club.

Mayor Hamling said he is delighted to see work get underway.

“Spending $33.5 million over the next 18 months will mean work for a local company employing local people, including local tradies,” Mayor Hamling said.

He said the construction company will source 80% of contractors from the Orange area with only specialist trades coming from out of town.

“At its peak, there will be 50-60 people working on the site. Over the 18 months ‘life’ of the project between 500 to 700 individuals will be working on the project at different times,” he said.

The project includes:

  • a 275-seat auditorium (with capacity built in for additional 48 seats or additional stage);
  •  a 65-seat planetarium auditorium;
  • 40 practice studios and rehearsal spaces;
  • front- and back-of-house facilities including main lobby, bar and kitchen;
  • office space, amenities and ancillary spaces.

“Mr Albanese came to Orange in June 2010 to announce federal funding for the Orange Aquatic Centre. That project has transformed the sport of swimming in Orange. And it was great to have him back again,” Mayor Hamling said.

“Orange City Council is once again looking forward to working in partnership with the Australian and NSW Governments to deliver another inter-generational project that will transform the cultural life of our local community.”

The budget for the $33.5 million project is shared between the Australian Government’s Community Development Grants program ($10 million); the NSW Government’s Creative Capital Funding program ($5 million) and Orange City Council (up to $18.5 million).

Council’s contribution of $18.5 million will be funded by the proceeds of selling the current Conservatorium site in Hill Street; the proceeds from other property sales, and a combination of external and internal borrowings.

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