Work on the multi-million dollar upgrade of Springwood’s civic centre precinct should start in May 2013 and will take about 18 months to complete.
Users of the civic centre development were given an update on the project at an information session on October 11 — and most liked what they saw and heard.
“I think we all think it’s looking great and they’re heading in the right direction . . . we’re very happy with it,” said acting Springwood Village Association president Alan Crooks.
The meeting was told the State Government’s Joint Regional Planning Panel was likely to determine the development application this November with the project going out to tender in mid-January.
If all goes to plan, May 1 would be the earliest construction date and the development would take 18 months to complete under a ‘best case’ scenario.
“The time scale is a little later than what people were expecting but I think we’re just dealing with the realities of the process that involves the regional planning panel,” said Mr Crooks.
“If they can get going by May 1 I think that’s a good thing.”
Blue Mountains Mayor Daniel Myles said “the adoption of a timetable [for the project] was great news for all residents of the Blue Mountains”.
“People have complained for years that the civic centre is too cold in winter and too hot in summer for comfort. Over the next two years, a modern facility will be delivered and all users will greatly benefit.”
Although most of the feedback was positive, some concerns were raised at the information session.
Mr Crooks said historic items, like a Norman Lindsay commemorative plaque currently in the civic centre lobby, were not being given enough prominence in the new building.
Members of neighbouring Braemar Gallery expressed concern about their access to the gallery and a decision to remove mature trees in front of the building.
The civic centre project — which will include a new 450-500 seat theatre, library, neighbourhood centre and early childhood centre — was kick-started after the Federal Government promised $9.5million for the precinct in 2010.
Mr Crooks said the council should hold a public forum “sooner rather than later” to update the community on the project’s progress.