The new owner of a heritage landmark at Dubbo says she feels privileged to care for the building and has pledged “no shortcuts” will be taken in its restoration.
Civil engineer and businesswoman Jillian Kilby has shared her vision to give the clock tower in Macquarie Street a new lease of life after purchasing the Dubbo Telephone Exchange from Telstra.
The sale comes after more than a year of negotiations between the parties.
The 2018 Agrifutures NSW/ACT Rural Woman of the Year, Ms Kilby will lead the transformation of the heritage portion of the building into another home for The Exchange, a new community of start-up businesses at Dubbo.
The condition of the ageing clock tower had been in the spotlight in recent months, and last week Dubbo Regional Council issued an Order to Repair Building to Telstra.
Then on Friday Telstra announced the sale, and that Ms Kilby would lead the renovation of the “jewel in the crown of Dubbo” through her company The Infrastructure Collaborative.
On Monday Ms Kilby told the Daily Liberal she and her team would know more about timeframes after a pre-development application meeting with the council to be held on Tuesday.
“But the first job is protection and preservation and to solve the problem with rising damp requires a lot of work around the base of the building, and you can’t repaint immediately after,” she said.
“So just a simple example like that, until we talk to the contractors we don’t know how long those processes will take.”
The energetic engineer previously worked on renovations of heritage structures in Sydney and said no shortcuts would be taken.
“We believe quality workmanship and strategic preservation should come first, and the community will appreciate that this will take time,” Ms Kilby said.
“We all have to be patient, even me.
“I am dying to roll up my sleeves.”
Dubbo-based Ms Kilby said tradespeople and professionals had already been contacted and would be engaged for the refurbishment.
“The Exchange lives and breathes small business, people starting businesses… so we want to make sure we live and breathe that with the renovation as well,” she said.