Challenger TAFE upgrade on back of $7.5m grant

FREMANTLE’S Challenger TAFE will use a $7.5 million Federal Government grant to build new technical learning facilities and update student and staff facilities in an attempt to attract more local and overseas students.

The project is waiting for development approval by May of this year but already has the blessing of the Heritage Council, the City of Fremantle and the Fremantle Port Authority. 

After approval, applications will be sought for tender. It is hoped construction will get under way in August, with completion in July 2005.

The extension to the existing buildings will add 2,100 square metres of floor space to the campus, which is set within the dynamics of a busy port.

Challenger TAFE general manager of business services, Neil McAullay, said the extension would incorporate technical classrooms, including a state-of-the-art bridge simulator, a Global Maritime Distress and safety System (GMDSS), an algae production lab, a wet area and a dry lab. 

Staff and student facilities will also be upgraded to include a new reception and entry area, administration and staff area, a learning and resource centre, cafe, computer facilities, student amenities, showers and toilets.

The new facilities are expected to attract 100 new students, Mr McAullay said.

Fremantle Mayor Peter Tagliaferri said the extension would have significant local economic impact on the west end of Fremantle, as well as attracting a number of new students.  He said Challenger TAFE already had a significant footprint in the City of Fremantle and he expected the new addition would further add to the dynamic mix of the west end.

It’s hoped the extensions will go some way to helping address the shortage of qualified mariners in the State’s shipping community. 

The new facilities will be built as an extension to the already existing buildings and classes will continue throughout the construction period.



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