The Riverina Conservatorium of Music is itching to leave its "buried" location and move to a world-class facility, but delays have added one year to the project.
The new development, located at the former Roads and Maritime Services building on the corner of Johnston and Simmons streets, will comprise of two stages.
The first stage is due for completion late next year or early 2021, which will involve development plans for the whole site as well as repurposing the main building into a teaching, rehearsal and administrative facility.
RCM director Andrew Wallace said the planning has taken longer than expected and it feels like some buildings are under threat.
"We thought earlier than what is going to happen, but probably at the end of next year we'll be in that first building," Dr Wallace said.
"In terms of us moving forward, the architects and consultants are working on it; it's been frustratingly slow getting to this point ... it's just a case of titles being transferred.
"The new owners have been very generous with us and CSU are making sure that we're looked after right until we're ready to leave."
He said while the university has provisions in place, it is becoming harder.
"We have the main building and some of the outbuildings are wanting to be redeveloped so the squeeze is really come for us and we're keen to move and get back into a space where we're safe," Dr Wallace said.
"Things like the band room is one of the outbuildings that is in danger.
"The university made provisions as best as they could for us, but the site is already starting to be redeveloped."
CSU facilities director Steven Butt said the university only has a lease on the Blakemore building and therefore the outbuildings become the responsibility of RCM and the new owners.
The Blakemore building still has four years remaining of the five-year lease.
Dr Wallace said the facilities at the current site are not meeting the needs of distant students nor performance areas.
"The region we serve really matter, because most of our teaching is done by videos ... it has to be really high quality to work as teachers and students need to be able to see in real time what is happening sound wise," Dr Wallace said.
"Video conference is not always reliable so the gap in time is absolutely critical for teachers to see as well as the student, it has to be high speed.
"We also have problems with performance there; on our big days we have to use our main room plus a second one that just has video going into there ... it's big enough for an orchestra to rehearse but not for an audience."
The new centre forms part of Wagga City Council's 10 year cultural plan, which endeavours to meet the future needs of a diverse community.
"We hope this will be a public building forever," Dr Wallace said.
"We are getting a bottom up design ... there's not anything like it in regional NSW so it's very exciting.
"The performance space is just a game changer ... stage two is where the city flies, it's a gift of the city forever."
The RCM was granted $20 million in funding by the state government last year, but the money for stage two will be reserved until a business plan has been written.
This is estimated to be done by the end of the year, with the second stage to be completed by 2022 or 2023.
Dr Wallace said stage two's facility will include a performance facility (that can seat up to 300 people), an early childhood music centre, the potential for a restaurant and a cafe, and a broadcast studio.