Milestone for new conservatorium, as DA lodged

By July 10, 2020July 13th, 2020News

Another milestone has been reached towards plans to build a new conservatorium/planetarium in Orange with the lodging this week of the development application (DA) for the project.

Plans for a $20 million building are being proposed for the northcourt area alongside March Street.

A $10 million grant has been committed by the Australian Government and Orange City Council has allocated $5 million towards the project.

Orange mayor Reg Kidd believes the conservatorium-planetarium would be an ideal project to gain funding support as part of the NSW Government’s efforts to stimulate the state’s economy after the COVID-19 pandemic.

PROGRESS: Community leaders are excited by progress towards a new conservatorium with the lodging of the building’s DA this week. Pictured on the site of the proposed new building are (l. to r.) Orange Planetarium Inc. President Rod Somerville, Cr Russell Turner, Conservatorium manager Donna Riles and Orange Mayor Red Kidd.

“The NSW Government has been very supportive when it comes to backing infrastructure projects that create jobs and deliver long-term benefits. This proposal ticks all the boxes when it comes to a major construction project for Orange,” Cr Reg Kidd said.

“If the government is looking for shovel-ready projects to kick-start the state’s economy, then this week’s step to lodge the DA and begin the planning assessment is an important sign of progress.”

Orange City Council Planning committee chair, Cr Russell Turner said lodging the DA was an important milestone.

“The Conservatorium has been making a crucial contribution to the cultural life of the Orange community for many years,” Cr Russell Turner said. “It’s so popular that’s its outgrown its current performance and teaching rooms.”

“The conservatorium and planetarium team has been working closely with architects to come up with these concept plans that will serve the community well. Taking the project to the next step by lodging the DA, signals to all tiers of government that we’re ready to get started.”

“It’s important that a council-sponsored project like this is assessed by an independent body. Because of its size, a project like this will be assessed by the Joint Regional Planning Panel.

“There’s already been a statement of environmental effects prepared which will be part of the DA. It will be a thorough and detailed assessment that will also involve Orange’s City Council’s planning staff making a professional assessment of the plans, and in due course the community will also have the opportunity to have their say.”


The proposed project includes:

  • a 250 seat auditorium (with capacity built in for additional 48 seats or additional stage),
  • a 74 seat planetarium auditorium,
  • 40 practice studios and rehearsal spaces,
  • front and back of house facilities including main lobby, bar and kitchen,
  • office space, amenities and ancillary spaces.

The building features a ‘living green wall’ that wraps around its perimeter integrating landscape into the building design.



LOCATION: This image shows the location of the new building, between March Street and the library.

VIEW FROM THE CAR PARK : This artist’s impression shows the view of the new building from the (western) Civic Centre car park side.

PLANS: The ground floor of the new building shows a 250 seat auditorium and the location of the planetarium.

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