State government announce a $1.6 million upgrade into Lithgow TAFE

TAFE LOOKING AHEAD: Cr Steve Ring, MP Paul Toole, Mayor Stephen Lesslie, Cr Darryl Goodwin, Cr Maree Statham with students and staff at Lithgow TAFE. Picture: PHOEBE MOLONEY.
TAFE LOOKING AHEAD: Cr Steve Ring, MP Paul Toole, Mayor Stephen Lesslie, Cr Darryl Goodwin, Cr Maree Statham with students and staff at Lithgow TAFE. Picture: PHOEBE MOLONEY.

The state government is funding a $1.6 million upgrade to Lithgow’s TAFE that will provide the campus with a new state of the art learning facility.

The investment will go towards building a ‘student hub’, which will provide all student services including borrowing books, counselling, administration, disability support and technology rooms in one centralised location. The hub will also connect the two buildings on the campus to create a new formal entrance to the buildings. 

NEW FACE OF TAFE: Teacher Dana Junokas (centre) with students Ketut Redita and Shanni Fang. Ms Junokas says the facility will bring Lithgow's campus into the 21st century.

NEW FACE OF TAFE: Teacher Dana Junokas (centre) with students Ketut Redita and Shanni Fang. Ms Junokas says the facility will bring Lithgow's campus into the 21st century.

Local member Paul Toole turned the sod at the vocational education centre surrounded by TAFE students and staff on Monday morning, November 13. 

Adam Bennett, the deputy regional general manager of TAFE, said the announcement was significant for TAFE’s presence in Lithgow. 

“It’s been the first investment into the Lithgow campus for a long while so it is significant.

“Refurbishing the facilities will allow staff to focus easily around the students and make it easier for students to seek assistance, whether that’s borrowing a computer, using the Wifi or finding a course.”

TURNING OF THE SOD: David Hine, Cr Steve Ring, Adam Bennett, Mayor Stephen Lesslie, Cr Darryl Goodwin, Cr Maree Statham with Paul Toole digging in.

TURNING OF THE SOD: David Hine, Cr Steve Ring, Adam Bennett, Mayor Stephen Lesslie, Cr Darryl Goodwin, Cr Maree Statham with Paul Toole digging in.

Mr Bennett said access to up-to-date technology, in particular video-conferencing rooms that will form part of the hub, will allow the Lithgow campus to better deliver a range of online and ‘blended’ courses. 

“We have a vast number of courses available that we use technology to deliver, so this will provide the environment suited to that.”

He said did not expect the new facility would create additional jobs on the campus.  

Dana Junokas, a teacher at the Lithgow and Mudgee TAFE, said the student hub on the Mudgee campus was a great benefit to students. 

REPRESENTATIVES: MP Paul Toole and Mayor Stephen Lesslie announce the $1.6 million investment outside TAFE.

REPRESENTATIVES: MP Paul Toole and Mayor Stephen Lesslie announce the $1.6 million investment outside TAFE.

“The campus in Lithgow is split over two different buildings and so sometimes being told to go to different areas of the campus to access different services can be confusing for students, this mean’s Lithgow will have a centralised one-stop shop.

“I think it will also update the face of Lithgow, putting it into the 21st century and make it a more inviting place for students.” 

MP Paul Toole said the investment was about giving Lithgow educational options. 

BUILDING: MP Paul Toole chats with builders working on the hub site at Lithgow TAFE.

BUILDING: MP Paul Toole chats with builders working on the hub site at Lithgow TAFE.

“This state of the art facility is going to be important about [sic] the future of the area. Young folk and even some of the older folk will also be given the best opportunities.” 

Mayor Stephen Lesslie thanked Mr Toole.

“Education and TAFE is essential for Lithgow and I really thank the state government for their support.” 

David Hines, the director of the company building the hub, said the project will be complete by June 2018.