THE first sod has been turned for the Bembooka Trade Training Centre at Orange Christian School, which will diversify student training from next year.
The federal government granted $1.18 million in October to refurbish the school’s existing technical and applied studies building, with hospitality studies to move to a new building.
The new structure will feature a cafe and bar, a commercial kitchen, classroom, food storage areas, male and female change rooms and an office - the area previously occupied by the hospitality faculty will become extra storage and a seminar room.
Orange Christian School principal Melissa Brown said the extra space would allow the school to offer certificate II in hospitality and construction pathways.
“It’s very exciting to make it happen,” she said.
“We’ve consulted with the local TAFE [TAFE Western] so students can come out of these courses and go straight to TAFE to finish off their training and apprenticeships, and we have been very grateful for that relationship,” she said.
“We will be able to broaden the range of subjects as incentive to work to their HSC - we’re working to improve the retention to year 12.”
Mrs Brown said the courses would also benefit students who worked in the hospitality sector during their gap years.
“We hope that [the training centre] can be used by the community,” she said.
Orange-based consultant firm Geolyse designed the project, while Hines Constructions from Bathurst will complete the training centre.
Geolyse architectural manager Tony Gray said the design worked with the school’s requirements and would be sympathetic to future development on the site.