THE Orange Visitor Information Centre is scaling back its retail operations in preparation for the demolition of the building to make way for the new museum to be built on the site.
The Orange Regional Gallery foyer will become the centre’s new temporary home in a modified form until space becomes available.
Orange’s museum plan is still waiting approval by the Joint Regional Planning Panel, however Orange City Council, which runs the visitors’ centre and is driving the new museum project, says it’s time to start getting ready for demolition.
Earlier this week an Orange resident told the Central Western Daily when she visited the centre to buy a gift for overseas visitors she was referred to other retail outlets in Orange.
“It was disappointing - all we wanted was a teaspoon or a tea towel with an image of Mount Canobolas or some cherries,” the woman told the CWD.
Orange City Council environment and economic development policy committee chair Neil Jones said the museum concept finally coming to fruition after years of lobbying was exciting.
“It is expected the tenders will be let in the next few months and construction can then begin,” Cr Jones said.
“The building should be completed by the end of next year.
“With so many places in Orange now stocking local produce, there are alternatives for visitors and locals now that the centre has downsized.”
The project was boosted last year by an announcement $4 million is being added to finances courtesy of the Regional Development Australia Fund.
Orange’s long-awaited museum is being funded with a $4 million federal grant topping up Orange City Council’s $2 million contribution.
A further $1 million in community and corporate sponsorship is being sought by a fundraising committee.
The 1080-square metre building to be built on the site of the current Orange Visitor Information Centre and adjoining grassed area will include a cafe, 365 square metres for temporary exhibitions, 200 square metres for a lobby and 150 square metres for a permanent exhibition.