CHARLES Sturt University's proposal to establish a campus in the Bathurst city centre could be the most exciting development in the CBD for many, many years.
It's important to stress that the proposal is still in its early stages (very early) but every journey begins with a single step.
CSU says it is following the lead of other universities that have campuses in the outer suburbs or on the outskirts of town by investigating the possibility of moving closer to the city centre,
And such a plan, as bold as it is, could only be a good thing for Bathurst and Bathurst businesses.
The thought of bringing hundreds, possibly thousands, of students into the main business district is a mouth-watering prospect for all CBD shop owners.
And that injection of people into the CBD, along with the new public spaces that would surely accompany a CSU campus, would, as the university puts it, "transform" the city centre.
And the proposal also has the potential to solve one Bathurst Regional Council's biggest headaches.
If CSU is looking at potential CBD sites then there are two obvious locations that must be on their shopping list.
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The old TAFE building on William Street and the former Clancy Motors site on Howick Street are the two biggest real estate opportunities in the CBD and the first sites that come to mind when we hear of anyone looking for a major CBD presence.
But CSU's offer to council to contribute $100,000 towards the development of a Town Square Master Plan (plus $40,000 for an industry cluster strategic plan and $25,000 for a practice performing arts concept) strongly suggests that the TAFE building is the preferred site at this stage.
That must be exciting for council, because the problem of just what to do with an historic building standing on one of Bathurst's prime CBD sites has consumed countless hours of debate and discussion over the past five years.
Again, though, it's important to stress that there is a long, long way to go before we're likely to see any of this come to fruition.
At the moment it is a proposal - and just a proposal - but it's still very exciting.
That CSU is even thinking this way is a testament to the university's confidence in both the future of Bathurst and the future of the university itself.
And that's great news for all of us.
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