Collingwood Town Hall refurbishment
Council is upgrading the historic Collingwood Town Hall to improve the safety and accessibility of the building.
Originally built in the 1800s, the Collingwood Town Hall is one of Yarra’s most iconic buildings and the largest of Yarra’s three town halls. About 150 Council staff work in the building, and about 70 private and community functions are held in the main hall each year.
The town hall needs to be upgraded to protect the heritage-listed building and to ensure it complies with occupation health and safety requirements, the Disability Discrimination Act and the Building Code of Australia.
The upgrade will focus on improving functional aspects of the building. For example, a sprinkler system needs to be installed to protect the town hall in the event of a fire and a lift needs to be built so people with disabilities can access the second storey of the building. The upgrade will not involve decorative or non-essential works.
The refurbishment is expected to cost $13.865 million.
Here is more information on aspects of the project:
Works to be conducted as part of the proposed upgrade
Environmentally Sustainable Design
Works to be conducted as part of the upgrade include:
- Installing air conditioning in the main hall
- Rewiring the entire town hall
- Installing a lift to provide access to the second floor
- Installing a sprinkler system throughout most of the building
- Installing ramps around the building to improve accessibility for people using prams and wheelchairs
- Installing electric stair climbers to assist people to access the balcony and old courthouse area
- Reinstating the courtyard located behind the current reception area, which will provide a natural source of light and an informal meeting space for staff and members of the community
- Relocating and upgrading the reception desk area
- Upgrading toilets
- Constructing new public meeting rooms
- Removing the asbestos roof at the rear of the building
- Installing Braille signage
- Constructing a new commercial kitchen to cater for functions of up to 400 people.
Environmentally Sustainable Design
Council is committed to reducing its energy consumption by ensuring its buildings and facilities incorporate environmentally sustainable design features.
There are some challenges with incorporating sustainable design features into a heritage building. However, Council expects the upgrade will achieve a 4-star Green Star rating, which will result in better water and energy efficiency.
Some of the sustainable design features included in the upgrade are:
- Single-flush cisterns on all toilets to save water (the toilets currently account for the most water use in the building)
- Energy-efficient ambient lighting and task lighting for desks that will be programmed to come on when computers are turned on
- Use of natural light in the reinstated courtyard. The courtyard’s roof windows will open automatically at night to circulate fresh air into the courtyard
- Central control systems for functions such as lights and air conditioning to improve energy efficiency
- Installation of infrastructure to harvest rainwater from the roof to provide water for the toilets and nearby trees.
At its meeting on 5 June 2012, Council approved the project and awarded a contract for the construction works.
The upgrade started in August 2012 and was expected to take about 12 months to complete, however delays to the project has pushed the completion date out to early 2014.
The delay has arisen mainly due to changes to the scope of the original works. Additional works now include a major upgrade of the main hall (including replacement of ceilings), and structural upgrades associated with the main ballroom used for hire by the community (including a range of stage rigging and lighting works).
As a result, Council will continue to operate customer services out of the portable office in the library car park in Stanton Street besides the town hall until the works are completed and the staff return to the site.
The centre will continue to open from Monday to Friday from 8.30am – 5pm to assist with general enquiries and payments.
The estimated cost of the refurbishment is $13.865 million. About $2.06 million of the $13.8 million has already been allocated in the 2010/11 and 2011/12 budgets to cover the cost of the design and to secure temporary office accommodation. $5.9 million has been allocated to the project in the 2012/13 budget and it is proposed that $5.9 million be allocated in the 2013/14 financial year.
Building Projects Manager
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