Armidale Regional Council Mayor Simon Murray, front left, New England Conservatorium of Music Director Russell Bauer, Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall, Friends of the Old Teachers’ College President Graham Wilson and University of New England Archivist Bill Oates with a crowd of delighted locals on the front steps of the Old Armidale Teachers’ College today.
Friday, 1 February 2019
NSW Department of Education to manage heritage precinct
AFTER almost 24 years in the wilderness the grand old dame of the New England, the former Armidale Teachers’ College, is coming back home, according to Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall, who today announced that the NSW Department of Education has agreed to take over management and control of the heritage listed building and surrounding grounds.
Mr Marshall described it as a momentous day for Armidale and the start of a new chapter in the life this 90-year-old iconic building.
“Since the University of New England walked away from the Old Teacher’s College in March last year, its future and that of the New England Conservatorium of Music (NECOM) was under a cloud of uncertainty,” Mr Marshall said.
“From today that ends as we welcome the Department of Education with open arms.
“Given the history of this building, this is a perfect fit and will ensure these grounds and buildings have a strong future in Armidale but also that funds will be spent maintaining and upgrading this once bustling precinct.”
Mr Marshall said NECOM’s future in the CB Newling Building was now assured and he looked forward to working with the Department and the Friends of the Old Teachers’ College (FOTC) to install a lift, for easy access to the second floor, and to begin a major upgrade program of the buildings.
“The Friends’ have already raised more than $100,000 for a lift to allow access for heavy equipment and people to the top floor, which is where the main performance spaces are,” Mr Marshall said.
“I look forward to seeing their vision for improvements to the main building realised and bring this grand old dame of Armidale back to life.”
President of the Friends of the Old Teachers’ College Graham Wilson said the Department of Education stepping in was good news for the community.
“This announcement will guarantee that the building will continue on with a strong relationship with education on the one hand and an important heritage building to Armidale on the other,” Mr Wilson said.
“This was the first regional country teachers’ college established in New South Wales so it’s fitting that it continues its relationship with the NSW Education Department.”