It's been coming for almost two decades, but another significant milestone has been ticked off in the city's quest for a planetarium and upgraded conservatorium, with Orange mayor Reg Kidd adamant the project will start "this term".
Orange City Council has lodged a development application for the $20 million project, which will cap off an arts precinct to envy nearly any other in regional Australia, with the facility proposed to be built in the northcourt area alongside March Street.
$10 million has been committed by the Federal government and $5 million by council, with more funding being sought from the NSW government.
The plan proposes a 244-seat auditorium, over 20 studios for students and room for more than 50 people in the planetarium, with spaces left on the Peisley Street side of the site for the farmers market and gallery extension.
Orange Planetarium Incorporated president Rod Somerville said he'd been waiting "an awful long time" to get his hands on a concrete plan.
"It's been, well and truly over a decade, ever since we started the first concept and started trying to get support and funding and council approval so it has been a long time," he said.
"To get to this point we're very happy and glad we're getting to the stage where things are moving along."
He said he was pleased to have the chance to add to the region's astronomical heritage, building on the Parkes Space Telescrope and Coonabarabran observatory and said the "world-class" planetarium would put Orange on the map.
Orange Conservatorium director Donna Riles was equally as excited to see plans for the facility.
"This one of the most exciting developments I think has occurred in Orange in a long time and I congratulate Orange City Council on their foresight, it's going to be a real game changer and offer employment and the infrastructure build to start with will be an amazing project," she said.
"Beyond that, people will be employed in the conservatorium or planetarium for generations to come and we're exciting to bring Australian and international artists who tour regularly to our region and provide them with such an exciting and well-designed facility is such an exciting thing for our region.
"We're pleased to see the conservatorium's growth over a number of decades over a really wide area beyond the city of Orange ... I think it's it's important to understand the value of the conservatorium as part of the arts in the region and we're delighted council has made this great step forward."
Orange City Council Planning committee chair Russell Turner said council hadn't forgotten about the project.
"It's bringing it that little stage closer to reality and we know it's all going to happen eventually. We have certainly not forgotten about it, it's coming along, we just need the state government to come to the party for four or five million dollars," he said.
"We believe we should be at the forefront of money coming into the region to keep the economy ready. We're shovel ready for that project.
"Looking at one or two or even up to three years before final completion but putting at the shovel in the ground."
Orange mayor Reg Kidd said council will start this council term.
"I have no doubt about that ... it's terrible exciting," he said.
Cr Kidd said the eventual precinct, including the gallery, museum, library and civic theatre would be the envy of the region.
"I can't think of any other place which has all of these things together," he said.
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