The Yarrawonga Town Hall Precinct could undergo a major change with a minimum of $4 million to be spent on a new Yarrawonga Library development.
Moira Shire Council has announced three options for the development, two proposing a complete demolition of the existing community hall on Orr Street and all three options proposing the demolition of the old kindergarten site on the corner of Hume and Orr Streets for a car park.
The council are now asking for community feedback by Friday, April 27.
The existing Yarrawonga Library site was identified to be inadequate to meet both the current and expected 10-year growth in the population of Yarrawonga.
Cr Peter Mansfield said in response to this the Yarrawonga Library Project Steering Committee, made up of councillors, council staff, library officers and community groups was established with the aim of sourcing a new site for the library with the assistance of appointed consultants, Urban Enterprise.
Discussions have been occurring for the past 18 months to two years on what changes could be made to the precinct and the existing library. With works to each of the buildings in the town hall precinct to be completed anyway, it was found the precinct was the perfect location for a new library.
“The Yarrawonga Town Hall Precinct is a significant asset in Yarrawonga and was identified as the priority site for the location of the new library,” Cr Mansfield said.
“In its current state the Town Hall Precinct is an ageing site which is in need of improvements to allow the buildings to reach their potential and make it accessible to all members of the community.
“The need for a new library has created an exciting opportunity to make the Yarrawonga Town Hall Precinct a more user-friendly and dynamic space.”
Due to the large amount of money required to get the project off the ground, the timing of when works would start depends solely on funding and is also reliant on the earmarking of the old library site being sold.
“To fund a new library council would seek a grant which is specific for building libraries, the existing library site would be sold and additional grants will also be sought,” Cr Mansfield said.
The precinct redevelopment is estimated to cost a minimum of $4 million.
Option A is estimated to cost $4.8 million, option B $4 million and option C $4.2 million.
“These figures appear as part of the survey and are important in terms of people understanding the options,” Cr Mansfield added.
“In addition the community may even have the opportunity to contribute.
“There could be a requirement by the community to help to fundraise to cover the shortfall as the Cobram community fundraised $200,000 to establish their library last year and it was a great help.
“Our biggest concern now is to get the community’s feedback as it is essential to what option we take and where the project will lead.
“Once all feedback is received it will then form part of a report to inform the Precinct Master Plan.
“This master plan will then be presented to the community for more feedback to make sure council has understood what the community wants.
“We, the council, want to get it right the first time with the initial cost being so much we want it to be the precinct the town was after.”
The three options council would like community feedback on are as follows;
Option A – involves two largely independent stages. Stage 1 includes demolishing the community hall and old kindergarten building. A new library would be built at the rear of the Yarrawonga Town Hall. The second stage, contingent on securing further external funding, would involve refurbishment of the town hall.
Option B – Includes the redevelopment of the Yarrawonga Town Hall so that the library would be within the building. The community hall would remain. The old kindergarten buildings would be demolished for redevelopment of the site, including a car-park.
Option C – Includes the redevelopment of the Yarrawonga Town Hall so that the library would be within the building. The community hall and old kindergarten buildings would be demolished for redevelopment of the site, including a car-park.
Due to the closure of the Yarrawonga Town Hall for much-needed electrical works, the customer service centre has also closed temporarily.
Every Thursday at the Lions Kiosk in Belmore Street from 11.30am until 1.30pm council staff will be present to answer questions and discuss any issues Yarrawonga residents may have.
The first pop up customer liaison session will happen this Thursday, April 5. To have your say and be included in which option is chosen for the library relocation visit https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/yarrawongalibraryandtownhall