Council commits to community hub solutions for Drouin

Council will pursue funding for a new multi-use pavilion at Bellbird Park and upgrade the Drouin Senior Citizens Hall facilities to deliver key community spaces for the town.

The decision follows community consultation in mid-2020 to identify suitable sites and the key features required for a hub to meet the needs of user groups into the future.

Costings for six possible options for new and substantially renovated facilities were brought to Council for consideration, with each design exceeding the project’s $6.9 million budget.

At its meeting on Wednesday 24 February, Council resolved to take an alternative approach and instead prioritise improvements to existing Council-owned buildings and plan for the development of the Bellbird Park Multi-use Pavilion. Both options will offer the community much-needed meeting spaces, facilities and technology.

Preliminary concepts for the Bellbird Park Multi-use Pavilion have been developed to form part of a funding application to the Victorian Government’s 2020-21 Growing Suburbs Fund. If successful, Council will be required to contribute $2 million towards the $4 million project.

The current design includes a multi-use space for up to 150 people, a commercial kitchen and two meeting areas.

Upgrades to the Drouin Senior Citizens Hall on Oak Street will aim to complement the pavilion, creating a medium-sized space close to the town centre for the community to book for meetings and activities when not in use by the Senior Citizens group. Council will work closely with the existing tenants of the building to develop concept designs for the project.

Quotes attributable to Mayor Cr Danny Goss

“By taking this approach, Council can deliver these projects to our community sooner rather than later and within budget. The Bellbird Park Multi-use Pavilion and the upgrades to the Senior Citizens Centre will offer our community a range of functional spaces to meet, learn and enjoy for years to come.”

Quotes attributable to West Ward Cr Ben Lucas

“This decision is the best bang for buck strategy that we could possibly come up with and will create two multi-functional spaces for people to access and enjoy. Both projects can be achieved within the next few years, with scope to implement more improvements in the future to meet the needs of our growing community.”

Quotes attributable to West Ward Cr Tricia Jones

“Although this approach moves away from the initial intent to develop an integrated community hub in Drouin, this is a good outcome that offers a short-term response as our town grows rapidly. As a Councillor, I will also continue to advocate for the longer term need for additional community facilities to cater for our local groups.”

Quotes attributable to West Ward Cr Annemarie McCabe

“Community groups are an integral part of who we are as a society, and as such, community hubs and spaces cannot be underestimated. This approach demonstrates Council’s commitment to creating community spaces for people to gather, learn and connect. The upgrade to the Senior Citizens Hall will improve this facility and create more opportunities for the community to make use of it.”

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