The Cultural & Civic Space - for the Heart of Coffs

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The Cultural and Civic Space will be a central hub for residents and visitors in Coffs Harbour. The development will house larger and improved cultural facilities including the library, gallery and museum.
This welcoming and multipurpose space will also include Council offices and chambers, as well as co-working and event spaces for community hire and use.
The Cultural and Civic Space will become the Heart of Coffs Harbour as our city centre continues to develop and improve, to meet the demands of our increasing population of residents and visitors.

PROJECT TIMELINE

In 2016 Council unanimously endorsed the Gordon Street site as the preferred location for the new library and gallery and resolved to undertake a detailed precinct analysis, consider the inclusion of the regional museum and to investigate mixed and civic uses for this site in order maximise the location.

In 2017 Council endorsed Creative Coffs – Cultural Strategic Plan and the Precinct Analysis to progress through to the concept design phase. At this stage, the Council offices were included in the scope.

Between December 2017 and March 2018, a comprehensive stakeholder and community engagement consultation and information campaign asked stakeholders for feedback on three separate concept designs.

At the June 2018 Council Meeting the report detailing the Concept Business Case and outcome of the community engagement on the three concept designs - to identify key features that people wanted incorporated in the new building - was endorsed to progress to the next stage; a single schematic design. At this point, the Regional Museum was also included in the project.

In early 2019, broad community engagement was undertaken on the preliminary schematic design created by BVN Architecture.

The outcomes of the consultation were incorporated into the final schematic design report which was presented to Council in July 2019.

The 25 July Council Meeting was adjourned until 8 August 2019.

At the 8 August Council Meeting the Councillors resolved to proceed with the Cultural and Civic Space Project by: 1. Allocating full project funding of $76.52 million, 2. Lodging a development application, 3. Disposing of the nominated properties 4. Procuring the build through a two stage design and construct contract.

At the 13 February Council Meeting, the Councillors approved the tenders for Project Manager, Head Design Consultant and Cost Manager. The demolition DA for 23-31 Gordon Street was also approved.

As a result of this decision, and the appointment of these key contracts, the detailed design phase of the Cultural and Civic Space project officially began.

Coming soon: 50% Design Development Report and result of the State Significant Development Application (SSDA)


The Cultural and Civic Space will be a central hub for residents and visitors in Coffs Harbour. The development will house larger and improved cultural facilities including the library, gallery and museum.
This welcoming and multipurpose space will also include Council offices and chambers, as well as co-working and event spaces for community hire and use.
The Cultural and Civic Space will become the Heart of Coffs Harbour as our city centre continues to develop and improve, to meet the demands of our increasing population of residents and visitors.

PROJECT TIMELINE

In 2016 Council unanimously endorsed the Gordon Street site as the preferred location for the new library and gallery and resolved to undertake a detailed precinct analysis, consider the inclusion of the regional museum and to investigate mixed and civic uses for this site in order maximise the location.

In 2017 Council endorsed Creative Coffs – Cultural Strategic Plan and the Precinct Analysis to progress through to the concept design phase. At this stage, the Council offices were included in the scope.

Between December 2017 and March 2018, a comprehensive stakeholder and community engagement consultation and information campaign asked stakeholders for feedback on three separate concept designs.

At the June 2018 Council Meeting the report detailing the Concept Business Case and outcome of the community engagement on the three concept designs - to identify key features that people wanted incorporated in the new building - was endorsed to progress to the next stage; a single schematic design. At this point, the Regional Museum was also included in the project.

In early 2019, broad community engagement was undertaken on the preliminary schematic design created by BVN Architecture.

The outcomes of the consultation were incorporated into the final schematic design report which was presented to Council in July 2019.

The 25 July Council Meeting was adjourned until 8 August 2019.

At the 8 August Council Meeting the Councillors resolved to proceed with the Cultural and Civic Space Project by: 1. Allocating full project funding of $76.52 million, 2. Lodging a development application, 3. Disposing of the nominated properties 4. Procuring the build through a two stage design and construct contract.

At the 13 February Council Meeting, the Councillors approved the tenders for Project Manager, Head Design Consultant and Cost Manager. The demolition DA for 23-31 Gordon Street was also approved.

As a result of this decision, and the appointment of these key contracts, the detailed design phase of the Cultural and Civic Space project officially began.

Coming soon: 50% Design Development Report and result of the State Significant Development Application (SSDA)


  • Public libraries and young people

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    6 days ago

    Question: Why do young people need a public library when our schools have libraries and they use the internet for research?

    Answer: One of the fundamental principles of public libraries is the notion of equity: that all people should have equal and equitable access to knowledge and information regardless of where you fit (or don’t fit) in society.

    Most new libraries include a specially designed youth space, because young people use libraries differently than other users. Youth spaces in libraries often feature different types of furniture, the latest in technology and gaming and easy access to the kinds of books which young adults love, like science fiction, fantasy, mystery and graphic novels.

    Public libraries provide spaces and programs as well as recreational, digital and technological tools and resources for young people. Importantly, these spaces also have places to study, access to PCs, free Wi-Fi and places to plug in a device. For many young people, a public library is not a not just a ‘nice thing to have’ but an essential service.

    In the new central library being designed for the Cultural and Civic Space, the young adult section is located alongside the new digital design studio and maker space. There is a combination of private study spaces and more communal public spaces to hang out, do homework, play games and chat.

    We are looking forward to working with teens in the Coffs Harbour Local Government Area to help create a space that fits their brief – after all, young people are the experts on their own needs.

    Question: Why do young people need a public library when our schools have libraries and they use the internet for research?

    Answer: One of the fundamental principles of public libraries is the notion of equity: that all people should have equal and equitable access to knowledge and information regardless of where you fit (or don’t fit) in society.

    Most new libraries include a specially designed youth space, because young people use libraries differently than other users. Youth spaces in libraries often feature different types of furniture, the latest in technology and gaming and easy access to the kinds of books which young adults love, like science fiction, fantasy, mystery and graphic novels.

    Public libraries provide spaces and programs as well as recreational, digital and technological tools and resources for young people. Importantly, these spaces also have places to study, access to PCs, free Wi-Fi and places to plug in a device. For many young people, a public library is not a not just a ‘nice thing to have’ but an essential service.

    In the new central library being designed for the Cultural and Civic Space, the young adult section is located alongside the new digital design studio and maker space. There is a combination of private study spaces and more communal public spaces to hang out, do homework, play games and chat.

    We are looking forward to working with teens in the Coffs Harbour Local Government Area to help create a space that fits their brief – after all, young people are the experts on their own needs.

  • June e-newsletter

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    6 days ago

    We’ve had another busy month helping to design the new Cultural and Civic Space building. In architect’s terms, design is an ‘iterative’ process, which means the council working groups and the design team communicate back and forth, both internally and with each other, asking for more information, clarifying and refining the design until the building is 80% designed and construction can begin. The building is not quite at that point yet, but we are another month closer.

    We’ve had another busy month helping to design the new Cultural and Civic Space building. In architect’s terms, design is an ‘iterative’ process, which means the council working groups and the design team communicate back and forth, both internally and with each other, asking for more information, clarifying and refining the design until the building is 80% designed and construction can begin. The building is not quite at that point yet, but we are another month closer.

  • $500,000 PUBLIC LIBRARY GRANT

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    25 days ago


    Marrickville library, designed by BVN. Photograph by Tony Roe

    Coffs Harbour City Council has welcomed the news that the Cultural and Civic Space is to receive a $500,000 NSW Public Library Infrastructure Grant (PLIG) towards the new central library.

    Administered through the State Library of NSW, the Public Library Infrastructure Grant program is for projects that assist NSW councils to improve public library infrastructure, including buildings and information technology systems.

    Coffs Harbour Mayor Denise Knight said she was delighted that the need for improved library facilities for the local community has been recognised by the prestigious State Library of NSW.

    “At 986sq, the current central library (Harry Bailey Memorial Library) is about 40 per cent of the size required for a community the size of Coffs Harbour.

    “Which is exactly why we have worked so hard to get this project off the ground, to receive the full amount requested makes us very proud. The people of Coffs Harbour deserve a world class library and that’s what we will be delivering to them.

    “Developing the literacy and, by extension, the employment prospects of our future generations is paramount to our success as a regional city.”

    Read more here.


    Marrickville library, designed by BVN. Photograph by Tony Roe

    Coffs Harbour City Council has welcomed the news that the Cultural and Civic Space is to receive a $500,000 NSW Public Library Infrastructure Grant (PLIG) towards the new central library.

    Administered through the State Library of NSW, the Public Library Infrastructure Grant program is for projects that assist NSW councils to improve public library infrastructure, including buildings and information technology systems.

    Coffs Harbour Mayor Denise Knight said she was delighted that the need for improved library facilities for the local community has been recognised by the prestigious State Library of NSW.

    “At 986sq, the current central library (Harry Bailey Memorial Library) is about 40 per cent of the size required for a community the size of Coffs Harbour.

    “Which is exactly why we have worked so hard to get this project off the ground, to receive the full amount requested makes us very proud. The people of Coffs Harbour deserve a world class library and that’s what we will be delivering to them.

    “Developing the literacy and, by extension, the employment prospects of our future generations is paramount to our success as a regional city.”

    Read more here.

  • Project e-newsletter May 2020

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    27 days ago

    Detailed Design

    For the last month, the Cultural and Civic Space project's architect, BVN, and their design team, have been deep in the detailed design phase working towards a 50% design brief.

    This process involves a number of internal working groups with representatives and expertise across the council administration and cultural footprint including customer service, administration, library, museum, gallery, IT and maintenance.

    Consulting with the people who will work in the new building is a vital part of the process, enabling the design team to iron out inconsistencies and re-visit concepts and spaces from schematic design.

    50% design is an...

    Detailed Design

    For the last month, the Cultural and Civic Space project's architect, BVN, and their design team, have been deep in the detailed design phase working towards a 50% design brief.

    This process involves a number of internal working groups with representatives and expertise across the council administration and cultural footprint including customer service, administration, library, museum, gallery, IT and maintenance.

    Consulting with the people who will work in the new building is a vital part of the process, enabling the design team to iron out inconsistencies and re-visit concepts and spaces from schematic design.

    50% design is an important stage in a project of this size, a mid-point in the design process which provides a solid base for the project to develop on. It’s also a key milestone for keeping project costs on track and in budget.

    To read more: http://createsend.com/t/r-026C49E9284CFA672540EF23F30FEDED

  • Detailed Design

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    27 days ago
    For the last month, BVN’s design team have been deep in the detailed design phase, working towards a 50% design brief. This process involves a number of internal working groups with representatives and expertise across the council administration and cultural footprint including customer service, administration, library, museum, gallery, IT and maintenance.

    Consulting with the people who will work in the new building is a vital part of the process, enabling the design team to iron out inconsistencies and re-visit concepts and spaces from schematic design.

    50% design is an important stage in a project of this size, a mid-point in the design process which provides a solid base for the project to develop on. It’s also a key milestone for keeping project costs on track and in budget.
    For the last month, BVN’s design team have been deep in the detailed design phase, working towards a 50% design brief. This process involves a number of internal working groups with representatives and expertise across the council administration and cultural footprint including customer service, administration, library, museum, gallery, IT and maintenance.

    Consulting with the people who will work in the new building is a vital part of the process, enabling the design team to iron out inconsistencies and re-visit concepts and spaces from schematic design.

    50% design is an important stage in a project of this size, a mid-point in the design process which provides a solid base for the project to develop on. It’s also a key milestone for keeping project costs on track and in budget.
  • Project e-newsletter April 2020

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    27 days ago

    How we are working

    The Cultural and Civic Space Project team, along with Coffs Harbour City Council and indeed much of the world, has adapted to the changes enforced by the dangers of a global pandemic, switching to social distancing and remote work to keep the ball rolling on what is now an even more important project for Coffs Harbour, particularly in terms of economic renewal.

    To read more: http://createsend.com/t/r-5220929DA8C3ACA72540EF23F30FEDED

    How we are working

    The Cultural and Civic Space Project team, along with Coffs Harbour City Council and indeed much of the world, has adapted to the changes enforced by the dangers of a global pandemic, switching to social distancing and remote work to keep the ball rolling on what is now an even more important project for Coffs Harbour, particularly in terms of economic renewal.

    To read more: http://createsend.com/t/r-5220929DA8C3ACA72540EF23F30FEDED

  • Fig Tree Arborist Report

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    27 days ago
    In January 2019 an assessment of The Hill's Weeping Fig on Riding Lane took place.

    As the Cultural and Civic Space project progresses past the schematic design, and embraces the detailed design of the development – we wanted to revisit and reiterate the protection of the large and established fig tree on Riding Lane.

    The schematic design developed by BVN Architecture includes the tree as a key design element for the building, and the Project Team will be working closely with a number of development stakeholders to ensure the sound treatment of the tree and its roots throughout the site clearing and development stages.

    The tree has been examined by an arborist, is in good health, estimated to be between 70-140 years old, with a predicted lifespan for these kinds of trees exceeding 1000 years.

    The arborist believes that managed well, the proposed development has the potential to result in an improvement in the tree’s health and longevity. You can see the complete report on the downloads page.

    As more information about the site clearing proves becomes available, we will share this with you across all project communication channels.


    In January 2019 an assessment of The Hill's Weeping Fig on Riding Lane took place.

    As the Cultural and Civic Space project progresses past the schematic design, and embraces the detailed design of the development – we wanted to revisit and reiterate the protection of the large and established fig tree on Riding Lane.

    The schematic design developed by BVN Architecture includes the tree as a key design element for the building, and the Project Team will be working closely with a number of development stakeholders to ensure the sound treatment of the tree and its roots throughout the site clearing and development stages.

    The tree has been examined by an arborist, is in good health, estimated to be between 70-140 years old, with a predicted lifespan for these kinds of trees exceeding 1000 years.

    The arborist believes that managed well, the proposed development has the potential to result in an improvement in the tree’s health and longevity. You can see the complete report on the downloads page.

    As more information about the site clearing proves becomes available, we will share this with you across all project communication channels.


  • Sale of Coffs Harbour City Council Buildings

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    27 days ago
    The process for approving the sale of the buildings began on the 14 June 2018, when Council approved the Business Case for the Cultural and Civic Space – a key part of which was to sell the buildings as part of the funding model for the project.

    In July 2019 Council authorised the sale of four Council properties as part of the motion to progress the Cultural and Civic Space Project.

    The buildings will not be needed once the Cultural and Civic Space is built and the proceeds from the sale of the buildings form an important component of the funding strategy of the new building.
    Over the next week, you will see the For Sale signs appearing in front of the four council-owned buildings earmarked for sale:

    • Rigby House located at 27-29 Duke Street
    • Coffs Harbour City Council Administration Building located at 2 Castle Street
    • The building housing the Coffs Harbour Regional Museum located at 251A Harbour Drive
    • Office buildings at 169-171 Rose Avenue

    UPDATE: At the 14 May meeting, Council requested that a temporary pause be placed on the sale of Rigby House and the Council Administration building, and that a report detailing alternative funding options for the project be brought back to Council. This report is anticipated to be presented in July 2020

    The process for approving the sale of the buildings began on the 14 June 2018, when Council approved the Business Case for the Cultural and Civic Space – a key part of which was to sell the buildings as part of the funding model for the project.

    In July 2019 Council authorised the sale of four Council properties as part of the motion to progress the Cultural and Civic Space Project.

    The buildings will not be needed once the Cultural and Civic Space is built and the proceeds from the sale of the buildings form an important component of the funding strategy of the new building.
    Over the next week, you will see the For Sale signs appearing in front of the four council-owned buildings earmarked for sale:

    • Rigby House located at 27-29 Duke Street
    • Coffs Harbour City Council Administration Building located at 2 Castle Street
    • The building housing the Coffs Harbour Regional Museum located at 251A Harbour Drive
    • Office buildings at 169-171 Rose Avenue

    UPDATE: At the 14 May meeting, Council requested that a temporary pause be placed on the sale of Rigby House and the Council Administration building, and that a report detailing alternative funding options for the project be brought back to Council. This report is anticipated to be presented in July 2020

  • Cultural and Civic Space e-newsletter March 17 2020

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    4 months ago

    Appointment of ECI Builder:

    At the Thursday March 12 Council meeting, the tender recommendation to appoint an Early Contract Involvement (ECI) builder for the Cultural and Civic Space project was put forward to Council. The decision was made to approve the ECI builder tender and engage Lipman Pty Ltd for this phase of the project.

    The involvement of an ECI builder is a method of construction contracting which allows the builder to become substantially involved in the design of a project.

    Want to know more about what an Early Involvement Contract is and how it works to benefit the Cultural and Civic Space? Read on here.


    Appointment of ECI Builder:

    At the Thursday March 12 Council meeting, the tender recommendation to appoint an Early Contract Involvement (ECI) builder for the Cultural and Civic Space project was put forward to Council. The decision was made to approve the ECI builder tender and engage Lipman Pty Ltd for this phase of the project.

    The involvement of an ECI builder is a method of construction contracting which allows the builder to become substantially involved in the design of a project.

    Want to know more about what an Early Involvement Contract is and how it works to benefit the Cultural and Civic Space? Read on here.


  • Early Contract Involvement or ECI Builder

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    27 days ago

    At last week’s Council meeting the motion to appoint an Early Contract Involvement builder (also known as an ECI builder) was passed.


    The involvement of an ECI builder is a method of construction contracting which allows a builder to become substantially involved in the design of a project.


    The benefits of bringing a builder on at this early stage means:


    • Construction smarts are designed into the building

    • The design can be built for a lower cost


    This contract is staged. This means that the builder who is awarded the ECI contract may not necessarily be the one who is awarded the major construction contract later in the year. For the ECI contractor to be appointed as the builder they would need to satisfy Council from a range of perspectives including acceptability of their construction offer and price.



    At last week’s Council meeting the motion to appoint an Early Contract Involvement builder (also known as an ECI builder) was passed.


    The involvement of an ECI builder is a method of construction contracting which allows a builder to become substantially involved in the design of a project.


    The benefits of bringing a builder on at this early stage means:


    • Construction smarts are designed into the building

    • The design can be built for a lower cost


    This contract is staged. This means that the builder who is awarded the ECI contract may not necessarily be the one who is awarded the major construction contract later in the year. For the ECI contractor to be appointed as the builder they would need to satisfy Council from a range of perspectives including acceptability of their construction offer and price.