OPERATIONS at the site of Bendigo TAFE's $60 million redevelopment have not been impacted by the coronavirus shutdown.
Bendigo TAFE chief executive Sally Curtain said the construction of two new buildings and two building refurbishments was running on time and on budget.
Victorian trades and skills minister Gayle Tierney turned the sod on the project in February with the entire project expected to be completed by June 2021. The new-look campus will include an Indigenous education centre and see the Bendigo Technical Education Campus move on site.
"The minister came in February this year and it really has been all systems go since then," Ms Curtain said.
"All the earthworks are well underway and what's been amazing is, because the building site is cordoned off for health and safety (which happened just before COVID-19), operations have not interrupted or affected.
"As a result of COVID-19 we moved to remote delivery of courses and have had a free run at construction. We are running on time and on budget, which we are thrilled about. It was a bit of lucky timing."
Ms Curtain said some of the sub-contractors shifts and breaks had been staggered or extended to control the number of people on site during the coronavirus restrictions.
"We have a really good partner in Kane Nicholson and a whole host of sub-contractors who are local," she said. "We're pleased to have that local connection to those trades. At the peak (of construction) there will be about 150 people on site but (at present) it is about 90.
"At the moment they are halfway through the refurbishment of Building E, which will be a new barista area, a bakery, kitchens and alike. Then they will start on new buildings where the earthworks happening."
More development is set to begin at the campus later in the year when the Bendigo Law Courts project starts.
"Because the (first) site is self contained, it won't change the schedule too much," Ms Curtain said. "The $165 million courts project will go up over a period of six to nine from end of this year with both constructions happening on the same site.
"That will be at the corner of Mundy and Hargreaves streets. (We are) in the process of that subdivision at the moment."
Students are expect to return to the McCrae Street part of the campus later in the year after coronavirus restrictions are lifted. Ms Curtain said she didn't expect the new parts of the campus to be used until late 2021.
"We have demountables set up at Charleston Road but haven't had to used them because we are working remotely," she said. "But when time right they will return to campus. I imagine that will be late 2021."
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