It’s out with the old and in with the new in Yarrawonga, with the current Belmore Street library to be sold and the community hall demolished, as a part of a multi-million dollar town hall precinct development.
Moira Shire Council unanimously voted to construct the new library at the rear of the Yarrawonga Town Hall, with residents overwhelmingly rejecting the idea of housing it within the hall structure.
The existing Belmore Street library will be sold to help fund the precinct development.
Councillor Peter Mansfield said the community and Yarrawonga Library Project Steering Committee were given three options, two of which saw the library incorporated into the hall.
“The majority of respondents – 76 per cent - chose option A as their preferred option which gave a very clear message that the town hall should be retained as a hall and stage for large events,” he said.
Cr Mansfield said a new building would open up the site to create an accessible civic precinct.
In the two-stage development, the new library will be built, then the town hall refurbished.
The town hall’s redevelopment is contingent on securing external funding.
Cr Mansfield said design work would be undertaken this financial year, with $100,000 allocated in the 2018-19 budget.
Additional funding is yet to be secured.
“Once concept designs are available and the project costed we’ll be seeking state government financial support through its Living Libraries program and selling the current library site to help fund the project,” Cr Mansfield said.
He said a commercial kitchen would be included in the town hall refurbishment in response to residents concerns and Yarrawonga Library Project Steering Committee recommendations.
Parking access was also raised as an issue.
Cr Mansfield said once the library building was built council’s customer service would move to that facility, making room for catering facilities in the town hall.
“The community indicated these were key elements to the success of any future development of the precinct,” he said.
“The community will be fully consulted at all stages of the development of this project going forward; this is a multi-million dollar development, we will only get one shot at it and we want to get it right the first time.
“Council’s newly endorsed Strategic Resource Plan has budgeted for the Yarrawonga Library development and the Council has adopted the committee’s recommendations of the preferred site option and the need for catering facilities to support the town hall.”
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