Moree students who undertake training with Community College Northern Inland (CCNI) now have a brand new learning space with the official opening of the local campus' new home.
After a long history in various premises around Moree, CCNI decided to invest in its very own building and in 2019 purchased 53 Greenbah Road, Moree.
Thanks to a $71,875 ACE Infrastructure Maintenance grant from the NSW government, CCNI has been able to renovate the internal layout of its new building to create suitable learning spaces for local business, visiting specialist training organisations and the Colleges' own work skills and self-development programs.
"It has been challenging as a community organisation to take the plunge into real estate and we have been extremely thankful to have received assistance via the grant at this time," CCNI executive officer Alison Heagney said.
"The new supersized training room equipped with modern technology and outdoor space has allowed us to continue to train during the COVID-19 pandemic".
Following plenty of hard work, the new home of the Moree campus was officially opened by Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall on Thursday.
"It's a very exciting day, not just for Community Colleges but for the whole Moree community," Mr Marshall said.
"For Community College to move from its cramped premises in Frome Street to these new premises where they've got room to grow is important.
"Community Colleges play an integral role in skills development and training in NSW ... their courses are tailored to local community needs, even down to individual needs.
"I'm absolutely delighted to see where that grant has been spent.
"The sky's the limit for adult community education in Moree."
CCNI president Judy Campbell said Community Colleges form part of a tradition that goes back a long way in Australia, however over the years many campuses in other areas of the state have closed down with nothing to replace them.
"Adult education is really important and Community College is an important asset in each of our seven communities," she said.
"We try to cater for the needs of people in our communities."
Mrs Campbell said the purchase of the Greenbah property was a historic occasion for CCNI, as it's the first building they've owned.
"This is the first time we've actually invested Community College resources into a premises," she said.
"I hope it's a model we can follow across the Northern Inland area."
Ms Heagney said it's been a journey, and one that wouldn't have been possible without the dedicated Moree staff.
She presented the Moree staff with a gift for all their hard work during the official opening, which involved a cake cutting and a tour of the new state-of-the-art training room.
The College moved into the new building in September 2019 and have been renovating it ever since. Local tradespeople were used during the renovation where possible.
Classes were first held in the new building following the COVID-19 lockdown.
The College has also placed its confined spaces and heights training unit on the campus recently.
Moree campus coordinator Catherine Davis said the College is well placed to assist businesses affected by the drought and recession by supporting and training people for new opportunities.
"Once we place students in a host organisation, they always get jobs," she said.
"It's about upskilling people to get into higher jobs in the community."
Moree is one of seven rural and remote campuses in the Community College Northern Inland cluster, and has continued providing training throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.