Planning underway to open doors of Town Hall to the community
Published on 18 August 2021
Council has committed to a renewal project that will see the historic Footscray Town Hall renovated and a new community park established and returned to the community for its use.
“We are planning to take the Town Hall into its next chapter, with a view to redeveloping the site to provide more opportunities for our community to utilise this much treasured space and ensure the building’s longevity for decades to come,” Mayor, Cr Michael Clarke said.
The heritage structure was built in 1936 and, despite some upgrade works, a significant investment is needed to bring the nationally significant building up to code to support its current use.
Council has instead decided to open the doors to the community for their use, moving staff into separate green star rated energy efficient offices. The decision reflects feedback during the development of the Council Plan 2021-2025 for Council to take more of a lead in supporting sustainability by ensuring its own facilities are both energy efficient and environmentally secure.
“The aim is to liberate the Town Hall from its civic administration function to return it to the public for use as meeting rooms and gathering spaces inside, and a new public space outside – creating a new and exciting civic space for the community and Council to meet and come together,” Mayor, Cr Michael Clarke said.
While there are some constraints, given the heritage value of the building, he says the redevelopment is an opportunity for the community to shape the future use of this iconic and important building, which will anchor the new Civic and Community Precinct.
“We are interested in understanding how the community thinks re-imagined community spaces inside could look – how they might best be used – and by whom – as well as their expectations for the surrounding open space.”
Early concept drawings will be shared with the community for comment to feed into the detailed design process to ensure the end product accurately captures community views and aspirations.
“Together we want to come up with a plan that will improve community accessibility, with new and renovated spaces proposed for the building, along with an environmentally friendly, readily accessible public park area outside the building,” Mayor Clarke said.
For further information and to have your say, visit Your City Your Voice.
Note: image is for illustrative purposes only
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