After encountering a two-month delay due to property development constraints, the first Mac Academy, in Sydney’s inner city suburb of Darlinghurst, has opened.
Developed by staff at the Apple Centre in Taylor Square, the new facility will provide customers with high-tech learning and support on Apple products, as well as those of its vendor partners, including Microsoft, Macromedia and Adobe.
Apple Centre Taylor Square director, Ben Morgan, said it had received 350 preregistrations for membership to the Academy prior to its launch on August 13.
In the week since the launch a further 35 people had signed up, he said.
“I am confident we’ll reach 1000 member registrations soon,” Morgan said. “That is our means point for the building.”
Membership to the Academy is priced at $199 per year for the general public, or $99 for Taylor Square Apple Centre customers. It includes free access to demos and training sessions from Apple and its partners, as well as the refreshments bar, repairs centre and technical support.
Morgan said the Academy will also hold Master Class sessions with leading industry experts as well as an assortment of courses - from beginners Mac OS10 and database training to advanced graphics design. Lifestyle programs, such as video and camera techniques, will also be offered. Courses start on September 1 and will cost about $199.
Due to launch originally on June 1, renovations on the proposed Mac Academy building were held up by eight weeks after council documents revealed the building was heritage listed.
“We ended up having to keep the exterior, as I was unable to have the style I wanted,” Morgan said. “We did add branding however.”
Although confident the Academy would prove a strong performer, Morgan said the Taylor Square team would not consider opening a second shopfront anytime soon.
“Before opening another Academy, we would want to redefine the Apple Centre store in Taylor Square,” he said. “It still has a small footprint at present. So we would be looking at another location as being a brand new Apple Centre, laid out the way we want it.”
In the meantime, a website on the Mac Academy, was launched on Friday, providing information on as well as 3D visual sequencing of the facility.