A PROPOSAL to open a military museum inside the old ambulance station building on William Street certainly warrants further investigation.
Council has almost completed the formal takeover of the building that has been vacant since a new ambulance station on Elizabeth Street opened last year, but that is the easy part of the process.
The much tougher task - as council has found since taking over the former TAFE building from the state government in 2013 - is funding, and funding, a suitable use for the site.
The last thing council needs (or wants) is two empty historic buildings in the main street - and associated maintenance costs - but that's what they're facing at present.
There had been high hopes that a solution had been found regarding the TAFE building after Charles Sturt University last year announced a plan to establish a campus in the Bathurst CBD.
CSU has also contributed heavily to funding council's investigations into options for revitalising the historic town square and having the university become the major tenant in the TAFE building was an enticing prospect.
But an $80 million revenue decline and the impact of COVID-19 on its ongoing operations has forced CSU into a major rethink and we're now told (though CSU has yet to confirm it) that any move into the CBD is off the agenda for now.
So a proposal such as a military museum in the old ambulance station must have great appeal for council.
Bathurst historian Andrew Fletcher, who submitted the business case for the museum to council, said the location of the ambulance station building near the highway on the eastern approach to the city made it an ideal choice.
Bathurst RSL Sub Branch president David Mills has thrown his support behind the plan, with mayor Bobby Bourke and Bathurst MP Paul Toole also indicating their interest in making it happen.
This is just a start, of course, and other community groups will also be eyeing what is a prime site in a landmark building.
But even this early in the process it is encouraging to have at least one viable option on the table because an empty ambulance station building just a few hundreds metres from an empty TAFE building is hardly the impression we want to create for people coming to our city.