The development of a purpose-built recital hall at the new Riverina Conservatorium of Music site has won $20 million in government funding.
The state government on Friday announced the grant, which will fund the second phase of the conservatorium relocation project.
In May, it was announced $10 million in funding would allow the “Con” to move from its current base on the old CSU South Campus site, off Hely Avenue, to a building on the corner of Simmons and Johnston streets.
This site, an empty building most recently occupied by Roads and Maritime Services staff, will be gutted and turned into teaching, rehearsal and administrative areas.
A block next door in Johnston Street will be used for the development of stage two, which will include a music hall able to accommodate between 250 and 300 people, and feature an exhibition area able to hold large events, while a specialised early childhood music education centre will allow young musicians to develop their talents.
State Minister for the Arts Don Harwin, who was in Wagga on Friday, said the new recital hall would provide musicians and students with “a state of the art and acoustically appropriate performance space” that would attract audiences of all ages from across regional NSW.
“By nurturing up and coming musical prodigies and providing them with a world-class venue to showcase their talent, we are preparing them for a life on the stage,” Mr Harwin said.
“This new recital hall will build upon the previously announced refurbishment work that is providing the Riverina Conservatorium of Music with a new home and the teaching space, rehearsal rooms and video facilities required to help musicians soar.
“World class performance spaces also increase the exposure of professional musicians, allowing them to perform to new audiences while providing the people of regional NSW with access to entertaining arts and cultural experiences,” Mr Harwin said.
A completion date has not yet been set for the second stage of the project, but stage one is due to be finished by the end of 2019.
Chairman of the conservatorium board Andrew Wallace said the announcement of the “world class” second stage of the project ended a five-year effort to find a new base after the South Campus site was sold.
He said the new recital hall would be a resource for the whole of the Riverina.
The plan is for the new performance hall to offer a high quality venue for musicians, without it being expensive to use.
Car parking and smaller performance spaces will be included in the final plans.