Andrew McDougall has a penchant for classic old buildings.
The OCTEC CEO's office is in one, he lives in one, his company has just bought an old bank in Penrith and now its $2.5 million restoration of one of Orange's most important buildings has reached another milestone.
OCTEC, which specialises in workplace training, has bought historic Orange buildings including the former Town Hall, the Lands Office and the former school and orphanage, Croagh Patrick.
Croagh Patrick, built in 1883 as a home for the Lane family, is undergoing a three year, $2.5 million restoration and conversion.
The latest stage, re-slating the entire roof has just been completed.
It's independently funded. We are proud of that.Andrew McDougall, CEO, OCTEC
However, while the building has been sensitively restored, including a long corridor with a tessellated tile floor, the interior is not what you would expect.
The main building, a former stables and buildings at the rear are now used for workplace training, mainly for aged care workers, and are equipped with state-of-the-art facilities.
That includes a mock-hospital area with its own live-in mannequins that allow for virtual health care.
Croagh Patrick has 12 rooms of accommodation to allow distant workers to stay during training programs.
The Phillips Centre at the rear is equipped for professional staff training.
Mr McDougall said the next stage would be landscaping the Park Street property's grounds, installing a front fence and re-instating the front garden fountain which was stolen last year.
He said it was recovered after the thieves discovered their intent of melting it down was not going to bring them much cash.
It is now being restored at a foundry in country Victoria.
Mr McDougall said Croagh Patrick was not open to the public but they might consider it as a wedding reception venue after many requests.
He said OCTEC had largely paid for the renovations.
"It's independently funded. We are proud of that," he said. "The slate roof has been a significant step."
Mr McDougall said it was important to preserve old buildings. "[It's] the beauty and the tradition and you are investing in them. Expanding their life span," he said.
Mr McDougall said the buildings needed to have a new purpose.
"The building has to work for itself," he said.
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