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Diversitat opens ‘funky’ new facility

11 March 20140 comments

Diversitat Opening pic_0076-corp (3)Geelong based training and settlement agency Diversitat this week opened its new training facility in the centre of the city.

The $2 million building, in Ryan Place, is a key part of Diversitat’s central campus and houses training and administration staff.

The funky, architect designed, bright and modern workspace is now an example of inner urban renewal.

A former warehouse, the building has been transformed into a modern office complex containing two conference and training places, two meeting rooms, and catering for 50 staff.

Diversitat’s central training precinct now includes four sites in central Geelong. CEO Michael Martinez said move meant the not-for-profit organisation had become the largest community-based training operator in the Geelong region.

“It’s a big investment for us and means we now have 5000 square meters of space in the Geelong CBD,” Mr Martinez said.

“Ryan Place is close to our other city facilities and gives us a very up-market space we are all very proud of.

“When we bought the warehouse one part was a showroom, and other parts were very dilapidated, so we’ve done a lot of work putting in new floors, a new roof, wiring, windows, doors – the lot,” he said.

Colourful Geelong Mayor Darryn Lyons officially opened the building saying it was a signpost to further urban renewal in the city.

“This former semi-industrial precinct is becoming a very interesting pocket of central Geelong and developments such as Ryan Place will serve as catalysts for further development,” Mayor Lyons said.

“Diversitat has recognised the value of central Geelong and is making a tangible contribution to our city’s revitalisation,” he said.

Diversitat project manager Bridgette Carey said the organisation was thrilled with the new 700 square metre headquarters, which comprises three former warehouses.

Ms Carey said Diversitat bought the property for $1.25 million in June 2012 and spent another $800,000 on the renovation.

“Ryan Place is an innovative, modern warehouse style open-plan office complex,” she said.

Ms Carey said the organisation had been looking for a new headquarters for couple of years.

“We wanted something quirky and a little bit different that was close to The Pulse community radio, the training and media centre and Wholefoods Cafe,” she said.

Diversitat offers short-courses and nationally recognised certifications and diplomas 10 fields; all based on an underpinning philosophy that education should be accessible to everyone.