The Cultural & Civic Space - for the Heart of Coffs

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What is it? The Coffs Harbour Cultural and Civic Space (CCS project) will combine arts, people, technology and culture to create a vibrant community hub designed to transform our library, museum and gallery into spaces more suited to the Coffs Harbour region's growing role as regional city and tourist destination.

The new building will bring council administration together in one building, including customer service, council chambers and administration offices. There will also be a cafe and bookable community meeting and working spaces.

Why do we need it? In the new building our library, museum and gallery will have 2.5 to

What is it? The Coffs Harbour Cultural and Civic Space (CCS project) will combine arts, people, technology and culture to create a vibrant community hub designed to transform our library, museum and gallery into spaces more suited to the Coffs Harbour region's growing role as regional city and tourist destination.

The new building will bring council administration together in one building, including customer service, council chambers and administration offices. There will also be a cafe and bookable community meeting and working spaces.

Why do we need it? In the new building our library, museum and gallery will have 2.5 to 3 times the space they currently have, with shared spaces and the opportunity to collaborate. The current Harry Bailey Memorial Library is only 40% of the size recommended by the State Library. This means our community does not have access to enough computers, study spaces, meeting rooms, quiet spaces, resources and books.

Our new library will meet State Library guidelines, providing access to books, magazines, personal computers and free wi-fi, as well as a digital media studio, a maker space, a place for young adults to study, play and hang out, and meeting and study rooms for the general public.

The Cultural and Civic Space will also bring together the administration, customer service and decision-making functions of council into a single building to access the benefits of co-locating civic and cultural services.

What are the benefits?

Our new cultural facilities will be for people of all ages and backgrounds and will help to make sure there is equitable access to safe, inclusive public spaces as well as educational and technological resources for Coffs Harbour residents.

Better cultural facilities will attract national quality exhibitions, workshops and events to Coffs Harbour that our current facilities cannot support due to lack of space and facilities. This is exciting news for both the residents of Coffs Harbour and for the people who visit our beautiful city, providing more things to do, see and experience.

The new building will bring our city to life, with studies showing that well-designed cultural facilities such as libraries, museums and art galleries contribute to regional growth by increasing the attractiveness and liveability of an area, as well as supporting business investment in the surrounding areas. When cultural and civic facilities are placed together in a city's central location, they not only activate each other, they breathe life into the whole area.

The construction phase (2021-2023) is expected to generate around 555 direct and flow on jobs including 358 local jobs, injecting $33.3 million dollars into the local economy. When in operation, the new building is expected to generate around $1.8 million per year in increased tourism.

Where is it? The Cultural and Civic Space will be located right in the heart of Coffs Harbour, on Gordon Street, in easy reach of public transport and just minutes’ walk from CBD parking.

What’s happening with the project? Late last year, the development application for the CCS project was approved by the State Government, and the demolition of Gordon Street site was completed.

The project team has spent most of 2020 working on the detailed design for the building, elaborating and expanding the schematic design completed in 2019. Detailed design up until 80% has now been completed, with the final 20% to be completed during construction.

As part of this process, Lipman, the Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) builder, who have been assisting the project team with buildability and pricing advice, have submitted their construction offer, which is currently being validated by key members of the project team. Council expects to consider Lipman’s offer in early 2021.

Why are we so excited? This project is an important piece of the puzzle for Coffs Harbour: a major regional infrastructure project at the right time and in the right place. The project represents a place for the community to come together, connecting our past, present and future in a way that supports the growth and progress of our beautiful city and surrounding areas.

Need more information?

  • August newsletter

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    Hi all,

    August has flown by and it’s been another busy month for our design team with the look and feel of our new building taking shape. We’re busily plotting a fun way to give our community a sneak peek inside the walls so you can see where we are up to - stay tuned!

  • Council's Cultural Framework Planning Wins Top State Award

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    In an exciting end to Local Government Week 2020, Coffs Harbour City Council has won the top prize for Cultural Plans in the Local Government NSW Awards. It emphasises the importance of partnerships and networks and provides a bridge to 2023, when new spaces and possibilities will be realised as part of the Cultural and Civic Space project.

    The winning plan, ‘LMG Strategy 2020-2023’ provides a framework to:

    • inspire and support lifelong-learning, literacy, creativity and cultural expression;
    • to find, share, and create knowledge;
    • recognise, preserve, and share our diverse histories and stories; and
    • provide welcoming public spaces accessible to all.
  • July e-newsletter

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    Detailed design is progressing for the Cultural and Civic Space project, with council working groups and the design team functioning well together.

    During the month, Matthew Blair, BVN Principal Architect for the Cultural and Civic Space, paid a visit to Coffs Harbour. It’s surprising how much can be accomplished over video-conference, but some things are just better face to face.

    During his time here, Matthew met with Mayor Denise Knight, where they discussed the progress of the project and visited the site. He also made time to meet with a group of enthusiastic young people at Toormina library to get their feedback and ideas on the library youth space, one of three youth space meetings conducted during this month.

    Read on to hear what our young people imagine for their youth space, the provisions being made for disability access and questions from the community on our Have Your Say Page.

    The Project Office team.

  • Statement in response to Member for Coffs Harbour's Statement on the Draft Coffs Harbour Regional City Action Plan

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    Member for Coffs Harbour Gurmesh Singh MP has today claimed the Cultural and Civic Space project has more than 50% council administration, this is not true.

    To correct the record, it should be clearly noted the Council administration component for the Cultural and Civic Space is less than 30%.

    ENDS

  • Coffs Coast Youth Inspired by Cultural and Civic Space

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    Recently, members of the BVN Architecture team and Cofs Harbour City Council staff met with groups of local young people to get their feedback and ideas on the youth space being designed into the new central library within the Cultural and Civic Space building.

    The BVN team showed the students some digital sketches of the space and asked for their feedback on furniture and technology, as well as their ideas about how they would use the space if the building was ready for them to walk into that afternoon.

    Their ideas were positive, inspiring and sometimes surprising!

    To read more, go to the CHCC newsroom

  • Public libraries and young people

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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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.
Page last updated: 15 September 2021, 11:28