Bendigo TAFE will become a state-of-the-art education facility following the completion of a $60 million revitalisation of the campus.
Trades and skills minister Gayle Tierney turned the sod on the $60 million project that will see two new buildings constructed on the campus, heritage buildings re-purposed and parts of the site demolished for the future Bendigo Law Courts project.
Ms Tierney said the revitalisation project would be significant for Bendigo.
"It's just the beginning of what's going to occur," she said. "We will have the connection between local industry and TAFE (and) will be delivering courses that connect up with the jobs needed in this region.
"(Students) should be proud that they will be walking on to a campus that is state of the art. I remember being here under the former government and it was sad. It was seriously sad.
"This (project) complements what will be happening on the other side of the property (where the law courts will go) and indeed the GovHub. This is going to be a major central activity zone for Bendigo and the region."
New buildings will include a three-storey building along Chapel Street, the refurbishment of existing buildings.
A new Learning Hub, collaborative spaces for students, teachers and the community, and an Industry Innovation Centre will be placed in the new facilities.
Bendigo Technical Education Campus operations will also move from St Andrews Avenue to the Bendigo City Campus as part of the project.
Bendigo TAFE chief executive Sally Curtain said the project would see the campus become a world-class facility.
"We've got 140 years of history and you'll see that develop over the next 12 to 18 months," she said. "It will be a full combination to complement our already successful health and community centre of excellence.
"It will increase our capacity and (make available) possible alternative arrangements about the use of the buildings into evenings and using them flexibility with community."
Ms Teirney said the project would be significant for future students as well as local industry representatives.
"It will mean we have an industry hub where local businesses can come and interact with TAFE and talk about their skills needs," she said.
"The skills needed here are vast and varied and (I am) pleased to see Bendigo has stepped up already."
Construction is scheduled to be completed by August, 2021, with about 90 people expected to work on the site.
"(Builders Kane Nicholson) have a range of subcontractors that are all Bendigo-based at this stage," Ms Curtain said. "Both buildings will be going up and being constructed at once, so it'll be a pretty active site."
Ms Curtain said an effort was made to retain the heritage and traditional aspect of the campus.
"There's a lot of history here," she said. "We want to retain that history and have worked closely with the traditional land owners - the Dja Dja Wurrung.
'It will be a real combination of innovative world class facilities alongside our heritage listed buildings."
Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards said the $60 million upgrade would benefit students from all over central Victoria.
"Many students come to this campus from other parts of our region," she said. "So it's not about revitalising the Bendigo campus but also about making sure regional students have access to, not just the best facilities, but access to the best courses."