The support pillars are rising from the foundations and building is well underway on a new boarding house at The Armidale School, where a surge in enrolments has meant the development needs to be completed a year earlier than first planned.
Believed to be the first new student residence constructed at an Armidale school since the late 1980s, the multi-million dollar, three-storey development, to cater for 64 boarders, is Stage One of a facility that will ultimately accommodate 130 female students.
When TAS commenced full co-education in 2016, it was envisaged that it would be a few years before a new boarding house was required. However with the current girls’ boarding house Dangar Moyes almost at its 47 bed capacity, fingers are crossed that the new development will be open ready for Term 1 in 2018.
The school’s Business Manager Pat Bradley who is overseeing the project praised the construction team for making up lost time due to prolonged wet weather in February and March.
“Rice Constructions Group has been incredibly patient in overcoming challenges caused by the delays, and Ducats Earthmoving offered to undertake a concrete pour for the foundations on Good Friday so it would be dry in time for a second pour the following week,” he said.
Headmaster Murray Guest said the School was also grateful to Armidale Regional Council for its considered and timely approval of the development.
“We now have more than 225 students living on campus, the highest number of boarders at TAS
in more than 20 years and the new facility will allow us to meet demand for the growth we are experiencing,” he said.
“This is an exciting development that is not only a good thing for TAS but for Armidale and New England as well,” he said.
Construction is being financed through a commercial arrangement between the TAS Foundation and Regional Australia Bank, with no funding coming from school fees paid by parents nor the Federal or State governments.