THERE is naturally some concern over news that the wonderful Mitchell Conservatorium is in a race against time to find new space for many of its programs.
For around 40 years the conservatorium has occupied space in the Bathurst Courthouse complex but has now received notification from the NSW Department of Communities and Justice that it must vacate the Orchard Room to make way for an expansion of the courthouse footprint.
And that's fair enough; no one could object to an owner wanting make use of their own property. What is a concern, though, is the timing of the announcement.
The conservatorium has been told it will have just three months to vacate the room once formal notification is given, but there is no way of knowing when that might be. If it is issued in the next few weeks, though, the conservatorium will be in a bind.
The Orchard Room is the conservatorium's main performance space and is also used to host early childhood music programs, disability programs and as a community rehearsal space.
It's a room for making music and also making money, and that's why it's so important that a new space be found - and as soon as possible.
One oft-suggested site so far has been the old ambulance station building at the bottom of William Street. It is a lovely old building that looks perfectly suited for some sort of community use, but it remains to be seen if it's a good fit for the conservatorium.
The first stumbling block is ownership of the ambulance station (it has been promised to council but the handover has not yet taken place) and the second would be the cost of refurbishing the rabbit warren interior to make it suitable.
At least the conversation has started, though, and there appears to be an acceptance that a solution must be found. But the conservatorium needs an answer sooner rather than later, and deserves no less.