Queanbeyan’s new cultural precinct is another step closer after the first sod was turned on the $74 million project.
The new precinct will provide linkages to The Q and the Bicentennial Hall and include a new library, public domain for civic events, conference meeting rooms and facilities.
There will also be a new head office for council staff and basement car parking as well as commercial lettable space for new initiatives like smart hubs and space for NSW Government offices.
More than 60 new parking spaces will be created as a part of the project.
Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council (QPRC) Mayor Tim Overall said the precinct would bring more people and vitality into the heart of Queanbeyan.
“It is the catalyst that allows us to get on with the transformation of the CBD by freeing up council-owned properties for possible future development,” he said.
Preliminary works including fencing to secure the construction site will begin in late July and continue until early August in preparation for the site’s demolition and excavation works. Construction is expected to take two years.
But QPRC CEO Peter Tegart said council staff were already beginning preparations for the new offices.
Council staff have been working across 11 buildings in Queanbeyan’s CBD after moving out of the previous council buildings in the early 2010s.
Mr Tegart said the new facilities would increase the council’s productivity and efficiency.
“Having those staff housed under the one roof in the future will provide enormous advantages including greater collaboration and increased productivity,” Mr Tegart said.
Local Elder, Dr Aunty Matilda House, conducted a smoking ceremony on the grounds of the new site as the sod was turned to pay respect to past and present traditional custodians of the land.
The construction site extends from the vacant block at 257 Crawford Street beside the Queanbeyan Council Chambers, into the Lowe Car Park.
The parking spaces in the Lowe Car Park closest to the Queanbeyan Library and the lane to the car park from Rutledge Street will be closed once the site is fully fenced in the coming weeks.
Temporary pedestrian access will be put in place.
For further information visit www.qprc.nsw.gov.au/QCCP.