MEMBERS of a group pushing to have the former TAFE complex in William Street turned into a performing arts centre have upped the ante by producing a plan that includes financial breakdowns and stages of works.
The plan also suggests that council could make several million dollars by allowing a residential unit development on the car park next to the old headmaster's cottage in Howick Street (see separate story).
The plan suggests the residential development could be carried out as early as possible to "help with the funding of the rest of the project".
Local architect Henry Bialowas went public last year with his suggestion for a performing arts centre and, in the time since, the Performing Arts Centre of Excellence (PACE) Group has been championing the cause.
The group includes Mr Bialowas and former 2BS and B-Rock radio station owners Ron and Stephanie Camplin.
The group's proposal for the former TAFE site is one of a number of ideas that have been raised for the complex since it was formally handed over to council, by the NSW Government, in 2016.
In its new strategic plan for a Performing Arts Centre of Excellence, the group says the objective should be to make the centre self-funding as far as possible.
The group says it is asking council to provide funding of up to $5 million for restoration works to get the centre up and running, but a first stage of works could be achieved within one year at a cost of $850,000.
This first stage would be to have the entire ground floor of the former TAFE buildings set up so it was available for hire, lease or use by local and regional performing arts groups.
The group anticipates the Mitchell Conservatorium would move in once this stage was complete.
The work to follow would include converting the former home science rooms to a commercial kitchen (for students at the centre and members of the public) and installing a lift that would make all the different levels of the complex accessible.
A later stage would be installing a state-of-the-art digital recording studio - which the group believes the ABC would use.
The plan outlines an organisation structure for the proposed centre - "an unpaid community board/committee" - and says that, after the $5m spent by Bathurst Regional Council to get the enterprise up and running, any further major works would be funded by earnings from the centre and government grants.
The plan provides profit and loss forecasts for the first three years of the centre and a breakdown for how the $5 million would be spent.
It also has a letter of support from NIDA director John Bashford.
Millions of reasons to consider units
THE Performing Arts Centre of Excellence (PACE) Group says its proposal for a residential development next to the TAFE complex could make millions of dollars for council to help with the costs for the proposed centre.
The group proposes the development would take place above what is now the car park next to the headmaster's cottage in Howick Street.
Six one-bedroom units could be built on the first floor and six two-bedroom units (with an attic bedroom) on the floor above.
The building would be serviced by a lift on the Howick Street side and a stairwell at the other end.
A partially underground car park would provide spaces for 25 vehicles and what is the current car park would be a concourse.
The lift would be able to be accessed from the secure car park, according to the plan.
"An opinion of probable costs for the construction of the car park and the 12 units would be in the order of $3.5 million and, depending on market values, could bring in between $6 million and $8 million," the plan says.
The PACE Group plan suggests the development would be on a long-term lease basis.
"This would allow a prospective developer to take advantage of the opportunity to develop the site so both parties may benefit," the plan says.