$2.1m music centre, and the sound?s suss
By Julia Iles
Four-hundred thousand dollars is needed to amend design faults on the new $2.1 million Grafton TAFE music centre, according to a report by the NSW Auditor General.
"At June 2005 it (the music facility) was largely unused due to a number of design faults. Alternative accommodation has been rented at a cost of $13,000 since the start of the year so that TAFE could still run its music courses. TAFE expects to spend a further $400,000 rectifying the faults," the 2005 report to Parliament stated.
However, TAFE Grafton campus manager Wendy Bruszewski believes the problems are exaggerated and the figure to fix them will be considerably less.
"I can't believe it would cost that much," she said of the complex, which includes vocal, rehearsal, band and recording facilities.
"I can't confirm or deny a figure, but that ($400,000) is definitely overstated."
As for the costs to rent the current facilities which includes the old brewery site at North Street, Grafton, Ms Bruszewski said 'it is not an additional cost as that is where students have previously been housed'.
The problem with the music centre stems from the sound quality when recording.
"What happened was they tested the acoustics and it worked, but it didn't convey the right sound that was needed to accommodate all the different types of music which they will be used for," Ms Bruszewski said.
"This is a first for NSW TAFE, there are no facilities like this in the region and it is a specialised industry and with the area of sound quality there are a lot of factors."
It is understood that the TAFE Commission told the Auditor General's office it was not responsible for the building's design faults and it would 'seek to recover rectification costs'.
"It's had problems, but it's only because they are going to the effort of making it perfect," TAFE Contemporary music student Mikel Johnson said.
"When this facility gets up and running it will be incredible with a full size analogue and digital system, it will enable people to make an album as good as anyone working in the studios of New York."
Spokesperson for the Department of Education and Training Mark Davis said: "One room has already been brought up to standard after it was found that some of the recently completed facilities lacked necessary audio qualities. The remaining rooms will be finished in the next few months."