Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE’s (NMIT) new $24 million Preston campus teaching and learning facility was officially opened by the Victorian Minister for Higher Education and Skills, Hon Peter Hall.
The new facility is home to a wide range of TAFE and higher education programs from Education (Early Years), Building and Construction, Interior Decoration, Engineering Drafting, Interior Decoration, Business, Accounting, Children’s Services, VCAL, Spoken and Written English and much and more.
“This new building represents NMIT’s continued commitment to quality education in a highly competitive Vocational Education market,” said NMIT CEO, Dr Andy Giddy.
“NMIT continues to develop its offerings and we’re looking forward to the future. The new Preston facility is just one part of an overall strategy that will see NMIT continue to be a leading provider of vocationally focussed TAFE and Higher Education programs. Our strategy is forward looking and has some potentially exciting elements including the progression of our bid for the former Swinburne University Prahran campus plus a move toward Polytechnic University status.”
With three levels of floor space providing 5,700 square metres of new space, the building includes 27 classrooms, each with seating capacity of between 30 and 40 students and a lecture theatre with video facilities, podium and screens with seating capacity for 150 students.
The building also features a fully equipped and staffed gymnasium open for use by staff, students and the general public.
“We are proud of our 100-year heritage in the North and our first-class facilities such as this new building at Preston,” said Dr Giddy.
The new Preston campus facility incorporates NMIT’s philosophy of providing real-life training workspaces to better equip students for their future work. Some of the key workspaces include:
o Design and Drafting classrooms with visible building infrastructure such as cables, pipe ducts and insulation on display for teaching purposes.
o A project classroom where Education (Early Years) students will be able to gain skills in delivering creative art and science based subjects.
o A prac room and outside area where Education (Early Years) and Children’s Services students can set up learning environments for children.
o Kitchen facilities for Education (Early Years) and Children’s Services students to learn about nutrition and health practices in children’s settings.
o Pod-based learning spaces to promote collaborative learning among business degree students.
The building also boasts environmentally friendly features such as sustainable building materials, centralised waste disposal, water efficient cleaning appliances, motion sensor controlled lighting, mixed mode ventilation systems and 200 canopy trees around the building.
The Victorian Government (Department of Innovation, Industry and Regional Development) funded $17 million for the redevelopment of the Preston campus in May 2010 with the remaining funding for this $24 million project drawn from NMIT’s own financial reserves.