Armidale Secondary College Project Liaison Officer Kris Croft, left, Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall, Principal Carolyn Lasker and NSW Public Schools Educational Leadership Director Pat Cavanagh turning the first sod of soil on the $117 million new high school in Armidale today.

Monday, 4 February 2019

$117 million school project largest in region’s history

THE first sod of soil was turned today by Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall to formally begin construction on the largest education project in the region’s history – the new state-of-the-art $117 million Armidale Secondary College.

The landmark ceremony to break ground on the new school was attended by local educational leaders, Armidale Regional Council representatives and builders Richard Crookes Constructions.

Mr Marshall also released a new three-minute digital flythrough video, showing how students and staff will experience the new school when it opens on the first day of Term 1 in 2021.

“Armidale Secondary College will usher in a new era for education in Armidale and country NSW, with the school featuring innovative technology and 79 flexible learning spaces that can be adapted for different subjects,” Mr Marshall said.

“It will be a school like no other ever seen before in country NSW and will completely change the way people look and think about education delivery in secondary schools, regardless of sector.

“The facilities will be second-to-none anywhere in the State and the school will set a new benchmark for others to follow for how schools should be designed and operate.”

Mr Marshall said there would be greater resources available for students and staff and more subject choices, especially for Stage 6 (Years 11 and 12) than had ever been offered by any school in Armidale or the entire region.

The new campus, set to be built on the existing 18-hectare former Armidale High School campus, will cater for up to 1,500 students and deliver new school buildings with 79 new air-conditioned classrooms equipped with the latest technology, specialised spaces for industrial arts, hospitality and agricultural studies and improved performing arts and sports facilities.

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,” Mr Marshall said.

Richard Crookes Constructions won the contract to undertake the project. The company is currently undertaking the $60 million redevelopment of Inverell Hospital and has previously completed the $16 million Moree East Public School, as well as the redevelopment of Armidale Hospital.

Mr Marshall said there would be around 400 jobs created over the course of the two-year construction period, with the vast majority based in Armidale.

“I want to ensure as much of the $117 million for the new school stays in the local economy and to that end, 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,” Mr Marshall said.

“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 will be a key part of the Armidale community and its educational future.

“I look forward to seeing this outstanding project move forward, with students benefiting from a terrific new learning environment,” Mr Marshall said.

“The existing heritage building on the campus will be the preserved and enhanced to be the centrepiece of the new school, maintaining a tangible link to the past and The Den will be retained, expanded and upgraded to a first-class three-court indoor facility.”

Minister for Education Rob Stokes said the NSW Government was building on the state’s world-class education system so students are ready for the jobs of the future.

“This project will deliver the students of Armidale the top-quality education resources they need to succeed,” Mr Stokes said.

Information booths will also be set up from Term 1 next year, where the project team will be available to discuss the project and answer questions.

This project is being delivered as part of the NSW Government’s record $6 billion school building program over the next four years, which is delivering more than 170 new and upgraded schools to support communities throughout NSW. This is the largest investment into public school infrastructure by any state government in Australian history.

Designs are still being finalised on the new 425-seat performing arts centre, to be built on the school site.

Further information is now available at Digital flythrough video and artist impression images of Armidale Secondary College available at

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