Southern Grampians Shire
The Southern Grampians Shire Council have announced that Lake Hamilton is the recommended site for a new art gallery.
A meeting next Wednesday night will determine if the proposed site is passed through.
Prepared by council officers, the report follows the various council briefings and takes into consideration the architects recommendation, as well as the extensive community feedback on the two proposed sites.
Council will vote on this recommendation, ruling out the Brown Street site within Hamilton’s CBD.
The recommendation will hearten many locals, in particular the staff and many loyal supporters of Kings Bakery, which made a stand against one of the originally proposed sites, essentially wiping out the bakery, Toyworld, a local caryard and two eateries.
Another major positive to come out of the report for the project, impending costs have been dramatically slashed, while the time line to have the project completed has also been brought forward three years.
The report states the following: “Based on a further assessment of identified planning, engineering and quantity surveyor issues
attached to the two shortlisted sites, the Lake Hamilton site is judged the least complex to deliver and has consequently the lower delivery cost.
“These differences are in the order of $21M with a delivery timeline differential of some three years (i.e. Lake Hamilton site could be built faster).
“It would also be less disruptive of existing businesses, as in essence the Lake Hamilton site is a Greenfield opportunity.
“More refined analysis of project costs, opportunities for funding and staging will be considered in the business case to follow in 2019.”
Southern Grampians Shire chief executive Michael Tudball said the Lake site offered a good opportunity for a city-defining building, to put Hamilton on the map.
“One of the major ideas behind building the new gallery is to attract visitation from Melbourne and interstate, and create a ‘world class’ destination attraction,” he said.
“The architects report certainly identifies the Lake Hamilton site as fulfilling that brief, and preliminary costs indicates that the lake site would be about 25 per cent less expensive than the proposed CBD site.”
Mr Tudball went on to further say the community’s voice was certainly heard on the final site.
“The lake site is also unencumbered by the complexities and impact of that particular CBD site, in that it requires no acquisition of land,” Mr Tudball said.
“The community and our local businesses have made their feelings about this part of the proposed CBD site very clear.
“Those feelings have been heard and I believe the report and the recommendations before council reflect that.
“The recommendation before council is to progress future planning and detailed site assessment of the Hamilton Gallery at the southern end of the Lake; and to not proceed with any further investigation of the site within the Hamilton CBD.
“As with any decision before them, Councillors will take many things into consideration before resolving on the matter and make a determination that is in the best interests of the entire community.”
The council meeting will take place on Wednesday, December 12.
Given the community interest in several items on the agenda, the meeting will be held at the Hamilton Exhibition and Conference Centre.
The meeting commences at 5.30pm and is open to all members of the public.