16 April 2024

Gungahlin Community Centre project at business end with construction tender

| Ian Bushnell
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two storey building entry

An artist’s impression of the Gungahlin Community Centre entry. The facility will help meet the growing community’s needs. Images: Judd Studio.

A contractor is being sought to construct the long-awaited $13 million community centre and youth hub in the Gungahlin Town Centre.

The ACT Government has issued a tender, including an approved development application, for the project to be built on a former public car park.

The 3010 square metre site (Block 1 Section 232) is only 150 metres from the light rail terminus, and is bound by Efkarpidis Street, Gungahlin Place and The Valley Avenue.

The plans from architects Judd Studio show a 1500 sqm two-storey community centre on Valley Avenue and a 330 sqm single-storey youth hub on Efkarpidis Street, separated by a landscaped open space featuring a significant tree that has been retained.

The three street frontages will have 3-metre-wide awnings extending to the road verges to provide all-weather protection for pedestrians.

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The floor plan shows the youth hub will have a lounge area, communal and outdoor kitchens, outdoor recreation space, workstations, a consulting room, a low-sensory room that can also be used for consultations, a staff room, a games area (pool tables and table tennis), bathrooms and a laundry area.

The community centre’s ground floor includes an office, communal kitchen, multi-purpose rooms, storage, showers, changing rooms and toilets.

Upstairs are consulting rooms, meeting rooms, a multi-purpose room, a work hub, digital arts spaces, art workshops, arts lounge and toilets.

The site will have nine parking spaces, including four for people with a disability, and the rest of the required parking will be found in the adjacent public car park.

A secure bicycle lockup will also be available on the ground floor of the community centre, and there will be public verge bike parking.

single storey building and lawn

The youth hub will be particularly appreciated by Gungahlin’s expanding youth population.

The ACT Planning Authority approved the DA in March with a number of conditions.

If the 30,000-litre rainwater/on-site detention tank is not placed underground, it will need to be adequately screened from Efkarpidis Street.

Trees will need to be planted in and around the car park, and the awning along Gungahlin Place will need to be a minimum of 3 metres in cantilever width and a minimum height of 3 metres above the finished pavement or ground level of the verge.

Transport Canberra and City Services did not support the proposed location of the bike rack on Efkarpidis Street due to two trees it plans to plant. The bike rack must be repositioned between the two trees or dropped.

Gungahlin Community Council president Henley Samuel said the tender was welcome news as community groups struggled to find venues for meetings and events.

He said they often competed for school facilities and a dedicated centre would give groups more certainty.

Mr Samuel said the youth hub would be particularly welcome in a growing area with an expanding youth population and few indoor recreation facilities.

He said it was important for the area’s youth to have somewhere to go and meet to channel their energy positively.

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In the meantime a new temporary youth and community hub is operating on Gribble Street until the new centre opens in 2026.

Gunners Place is offering equipment to support shared office spaces, a meeting room, a small kitchen and a smart board.

The ACT Government partnered with Barnardos Australia to set it up. Services based there include Northside Community Services, Relationships Australia and Multicultural Hub Canberra.

Gunners Place will host other programs and school holiday events, and the community can hire the space after hours and on weekends.

The Communites@Work centre on Ernest Cavanagh Street also provides spaces for hire.

The tender closes on 6 June.

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