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)


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    Why is the council still pushing ahead with the cultural and civic space when the electorate do not want it. I do not want 76 million of our tax money spent on a glorified council office. This was not the original intention of this project, I’m absolutely disgusted by the Brantley disregard this council, particularly the mayor for this community in these difficult times.

    Wheresjane asked 9 days ago

    Hi,

    Thank you for your interest in the Cultural and Civic Space project.
    We acknowledge there is community opposition to this project. However, there is also significant community support for a new library, museum and gallery for Coffs Harbour. This project represents the best opportunity for Coffs Harbour to achieve this long-held ambition.
    It is inaccurate to call this building a ‘glorified council office’ – council offices take up less than a third of the total building area and will help bring people into the building, and provide a solution for the current inadequate council staff accommodation, which is split across two buildings.
    Most of this building is for the community, with the vision to provide spaces and resources which are not currently available, such as a library which meets State Library benchmarks, a museum and gallery which can support art, history and storytelling on the Coffs Coast, as well as a young adult space, digital studio, makerspace, creative workshop space, children’s area, co-working, meeting spaces and community function room.

    Kind Regards,

    The Project Office


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    How big and what design will be the art gallery?

    Rose asked 25 days ago

    Hi Rose,

    The new art gallery is 444.5 m2 in exhibition spaces plus a further 100 m2 for the creative workshop space and shop, plus 228 m2 back of house.

    The design of the new art gallery includes:

    1. 2 temporary exhibition spaces
    2. A community access gallery
    3. A digital presentation space
    4. A creative workshop space
    5. Reception and gallery shop
    6. A Welcome to Country space shared by the gallery and museum
    7. Appropriate back of house and loading dock spaces


    There is a also a further 220 m2 for a permanent museum (social history) gallery.

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    Has a proper costing been done on the project or is the $76m an estimate. If not why not as estimated has a bad record of doubling.

    gimp308 asked 25 days ago

    Hi,

    $76.52 million is the project budget and was established through design work and cost estimates from professional, registered quantity surveyors, including appropriate contingencies.

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    When will we start to see the demolition work commence?

    Klagalla asked 3 months ago

    Hi Klagalla,

    Demolition of the Gordon street site is expected to occur before Christmas.

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    How far off is the DA?

    Klagalla asked 3 months ago

    H Klagalla,

    The State Significant Development application is still waiting for assessment by the Department of Planning.


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    What is meant by the library’s Maker Space

    Terrie Beckhouse asked 4 months ago

    Hi Terrie,

    Thank you for your question. A makerspace is a workshop area where people can come together to create, collaborate and play. It's a robust space, known as a 'wet area' in design terms, designed to accommodate a range of uses. The makerspace may have digital technologies such as a 3D printer, and it may also have much more low-tech items; the main purpose of the space is educational play and collaborative learning in a spirit of invention and fun. 

    In our new building, the In our new building, we will have two maker spaces – one on the ground floor shared by the museum and gallery, which will have an arts focus, and the other on level one next door to the youth space, which will have a STEAM focus (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math).

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    which feature of the cultural and civic space will improve liveability the most

    jesse asked 4 months ago

    Hi Jesse, thank you for your question. In particular, the cultural and community facets of the building - library, museum and art gallery, cafe, co-working spaces, and the large multi-purpose space - will make Coffs Harbour a better place to live and visit, for both the Coffs Harbour CBD and the Coffs Harbour area in general. Some reasons for this include: 

    • Community cohesion: there is currently a shortfall in community and cultural facilites in the Coffs Harbour region. Issues facing the Coffs Harbour LGA including educational disadvantage, youth disengagement, unemployment and low community participation can be addressed by investing in cultural and social infrastructure such as the Cultural and Civic Space.
    • Studies have shown that facilities such as Art Galleries are important contributors to regional growth by influencing perceptions of liveability, supporting adjacent business investment and generating considerable tourism spending when hosting major exhibitions.
    • Cultural facilities such as art galleries and museums support local local people to tell the stories of the communities they reside in, creating and building upon a sense of identity relating to place, civic pride, and increasing educational and even health outcomes.
    • By offering residents and visitors spaces to meet, work, study and collaborate, Coffs Harbour City Council is supporting education, enterprise, start-ups, remote working opportunities and more.
    • There is a significant economic benefit to the project, both in the construction period and in the operational phase of the project.



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    What is the name of the building?

    over 3 years ago

    The working titles for the building are Cultural and Civic Space or All Welcome