Minister for Higher Education Gayle Tierney today released the concept drawings for the ultra-modern facility, which is a joint project between the Victorian Government, South West TAFE and Warrnambool City Council.
She said the learning and library hub would be an iconic building for the whole Warrnambool community and would be a jobs boost for the region as the economy recovered from the effects of the pandemic.
“The community provided clear feedback on what they want and need, and we will deliver - this new building will address long-standing accessibility, space and amenity issues,” she said.
The new hub in the heart of Warrnambool will be open to all members of the community and is more than four times the size of the old library – ensuring there is space for everyone now and in the future.
The new facility will include a modern indoor-outdoor café, public computers, exhibition and display areas, places to study, meeting rooms, and a games and digital media zone. The top floor will offer a quiet reading area with views across Lake Pertobe to the ocean.
South West TAFE chief executive Mark Fidge said the learning and library hub would have something for all age groups.
“It will have a dedicated space for seniors including a large print collection, a tech zone, and an outdoor children’s play space,” he said.
Warrnambool City councillor Kylie Gaston said the new library would also importantly have more books – a key priority of the community.
“The concept design sits comfortably within the TAFE campus’s current mix of heritage and modern buildings. I’m thrilled to see the design for this wonderful project come to fruition,” she said.
South West TAFE’s Warrnambool campus is an important asset for the region, creating learning and employment opportunities for a more skilled local workforce.
Kosloff Architecture is designing the new facilities. The project includes the refurbishment of an existing heritage-listed building on the campus. A builder is expected to be appointed in April 2021. Completion and opening of the new hub is expected in mid-2022.
Since 2015, the Victorian Government has committed more than $1.5 billion to rebuild our TAFE system and ensure students can get the skills they need for the jobs they want.
The Victorian Government recently announced a $163 million expansion of Free TAFE, delivering more than 18,000 training places for Victorians to develop the skills needed to rebuild the economy post coronavirus.