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Curtin University and the State Government are still negotiating a contract over the use of $20 million of State funds for the expansion of Agricola College, despite the funding being announced more than six months ago.

However, the university’s chief financial officer, David Menarry, says he is confident a deal will be signed to allow construction work to begin next year.

The State Government in July announced it would fund $20 million, from Royalties for Regions, towards the expansion of Agricola, to house as many as 180 students at the Western Australian School of Mines.

At the time of this announcement it was stated work would start this year.

However, Mr Menarry told the Miner: “Planning work commenced in August 2012 with the start of preparation of a Value Management Study Report. A Project Definition Plan including a procurement strategy is anticipated to be ready by the end of July 2013. A construction contract is planned to be finalised in the second half of 2013, with actual building work commencing early 2014.”

Mr Menarry would not delve into the details of the outstanding issues remaining over the contract, but said “at this stage there are a number of matters that are still being finalised”.