LONGERENONG College hopes its first master plan will help promote partnerships within the agricultural industry.
The plan, unveiled at Wimmera Development Association’s annual meeting, will guide development of the college’s 1070-hectare campus and commercial farm during the next 10 years.
College general manager John Goldsmith said the plan identified land that could be leased to partners.
Bayer CropScience, the Country Fire Authority and the Department of Environment and Primary Industries lease campus land.
“When we started negotiations with Bayer three years ago, we had to decide where we were going to put their centre,” Mr Goldsmith said.
“With this plan, if we have organisations who want to come to the college, we can now say you can go here, here or here.
“It is quite an exciting exercise to visualise what the site will look like in the next 30 years.
“We want to make sure the decisions we make now will be the right ones in a decade’s time.”
Mr Goldsmith said redeveloping the residential buildings was the college’s top priority.
Member for Mallee Andrew Broad told the Mail-Times in August that he would ‘climb over mountains’ to commit the $2.2 million needed to complete the project.
“We haven’t spoke to Andrew for a few months but we hope to meet with him in the next couple of weeks to open the lines of communication,” Mr Goldsmith said.
“We need to explore the options for funding with this new government.
“If we get funding, we would put it out to tender and be ready to go within a couple of months of the funding announcement.”
The college has lobbied for three years for government money to upgrade and expand its student residences – built in the 1940s and 1960s.
Reverse-cycle air-conditioning, new hot water services and wireless internet infrastructure will be installed as part of the upgrade.
Mr Goldsmith said 72 per cent of the college’s full-time students lived on campus.
“I am trying to point out how important the accommodation is for our students,” he said.
“We are not trying to build the Taj Mahal.”
Mr Goldsmith said the master plan set out the location for horse yards, shelters and feeding areas that will be built next year.
“We have been talking about building horse yards for a while but it was a matter of waiting for the master plan,” he said.