The 2019/20 Victorian State Budget builds on reforms which put TAFE at the centre of a robust training and skills system that gives Victorians the skills they need to get the jobs they want.
The Victorian Government is contributing more than $17 million to a learning and library hub at South West TAFE’s Warrnambool campus, with Warrnambool City Council contributing $2.75 million to the project.
This joint partnership will deliver new community library facilities and establish fit-for-purpose, technologically advanced and accessible spaces, at South West TAFE’s Warrnambool campus.
The new co-location offers an opportunity for the community to discover the wide range of on campus facilities and services operated by South West TAFE's students and staff.
These include a hair and beauty salon, restaurant and other hospitality services, while seeing first-hand the opportunities for life-long learning available through courses offered at South West TAFE.
In 2017, when asked to identify their ‘Wish for Warrnambool’ (for the long term community plan W2040), the community identified a new library at the top of the list. As a result, the new learning and library hub will be more than a library, it will also be a social space for interaction and knowledge exchange with access to recent technologies and support for education.
The hub will replace the existing 40-year-old municipal library in Liebig Street, with library members and visitors able to enjoy all the current library facilities in new, larger, modern and accessible spaces. It will provide more spaces for meetings, social activities and programs.
The new facility will offer free public access to computers, exhibition spaces, study areas, learning and play opportunities for children, as well as a games and a digital media zone.
The South West TAFE campus is already a vibrant community education space and the hub will provide even more opportunity for broader community usage of this safe, welcoming and inclusive precinct.
Over the coming months, there will be a range of opportunities for the Warrnambool and surrounding communities to share their vision, ideas and opinions during the lifespan of the project, and the public will be notified when the consultation phase commences.
Public consultation helps to build stronger and engaged local community relationships by ensuring people are involved, that their views are being heard, and that they are well represented when decisions are being made about their community.
What is a ‘learning and library hub’?
This exciting new community space in the CBD will be a place that brings together library facilities and other new services to meet the needs of both the community and South West TAFE students and staff, in new and refurbished buildings at the TAFE’s Warrnambool Campus.
The hub will house our new community library, along with the latest technology, resource materials and shared spaces to expand and improve educational facilities and provide better access for residents, visitors and South West TAFE students and staff.
Where will the new hub be located?
The hub will be located centrally on South West TAFE’s Warrnambool campus (see image above).
When will the new facilities be opened?
It is expected that the facilities will open in mid-2022.
Who is responsible for the library if it is on the SWTAFE campus?
The management of the new library will remain the same, with South West TAFE owning the facility. The library will be part of a range of services available to the community, and the TAFE’s students and staff.
When will the community consultation commence?
It is expected that consultation will commence in the coming months. Information about when the community consultation process will begin will be advertised in local press and online.
Will local tradespeople be employed during the construction phase?
Under the Local Jobs First network, there is a requirement that government-funded projects include a quota of local contractors and suppliers, as determined by the local industry development plan.
For further information about the new hub, visit the websites of South West TAFE and Warrnambool City Council or download the key fact sheet. You can also stay up to date with the latest news on the Learning and Library hub below.