The Cultural & Civic Space - for the Heart of Coffs

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<p><a href="https://vimeo.com/394061302">How will the upgrading of Cultural spaces benefit Coffs Harbour?</a> from <a href="https://vimeo.com/user62982929">Coffs Harbour City Council</a> on <a href="https://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>
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.

On 30 November 2020, the NSW Minister for Planning, Rob Stokes, approved the Development Application (DA) for the new Cultural and Civic Space.

Coming soon: 80% Design Development Report.


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.

On 30 November 2020, the NSW Minister for Planning, Rob Stokes, approved the Development Application (DA) for the new Cultural and Civic Space.

Coming soon: 80% Design Development Report.


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    Why is there no performance space for an orchestra? We already have all the services this space will hold, except for a classical music space.

    Kate Butcher asked about 1 month ago

    Hello Kate,

    Thank you for your question. There is a multi-purpose space on level 3 which has a capacity for around 200 people and could be used for a classical music performance. There are also several venues for orchestral performances in Coffs Harbour, including the Coffs Harbour Regional Conservatorium, the Coffs Harbour Education Campus theatre and the Jetty Memorial Theatre.

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    I would like to view the document that detailed the approximate costing for refurbishing the existing council administrative building. I assume this was carried out by a quantity surveying firm or a company with the skills to carry out such a process. If it is not directly available to ratepayers please let me know the process required to access it through freedom of information legislation.

    Tim Lawrence asked about 1 month ago

    The document that detailed the approximate costing for refurbishing the existing council administrative building is the Concept Business Case, submitted at the Council meeting 14 June 2018. Related papers and minutes regarding Council’s decision can be found at:
    https://www.coffsharbour.nsw.gov.au/Your-Council/About-Council/Pages/Council%20Minutes%20and%20Agendas/Minutes-and-Agendas.aspx

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    who is the builder

    bellaburton asked about 2 months ago

    The builder  for the Cultural and Civic Space project has not been appointed yet. Lipman is the Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) builder who has been assisting the design team with buildability advice through the detailed design process.

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    have any of the council's properties that were put up for sale, actually been sold?

    sphitz asked 2 months ago

    To-date the 4 properties have not been sold.  An offer for the purchase of 215A Harbour Drive, which is the building the museum is currently housed in, was not accepted by Council.  Sale of the 2 Castle St and 27-29 Duke St (Rigby House) properties are currently paused and no offers have been accepted for the 169-171 Rose Ave property.

    UPDATE: Council resolved to accept an offer for the 169-171 Rose Avenue property at the 26 November 2020 meeting.

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    Why is the location of the cultural and civic centre not negotiable when the community do not want it in the centre of town where there is such a shortage of parking?

    Fee asked 3 months ago

    Hello Fee,

    Thank you for your interest in the Cultural and Civic Space project. 

    There are good reasons for choosing a CBD location for this building. Our city’s cultural and administrative facilities need to be accessible to all residents and visitors, including those who don’t own cars, which is why Gordon Street is the most practical and logical location for the Cultural and Civic Space Project. Best practice in design states that prosperous, growing cities locate such facilities in their centre. The Coffs Harbour City Centre Masterplan 2031(External link) and best practice in design both highlight that prosperous, growing cities locate such facilities in their centre. In addition, the City has taken into account The Government Architect NSW’s Better Placed policy(External link), which clearly outlines the importance of good design and placement. 

    The process for choosing the Gordon Street site began in 2016, with an assessment of 11 sites in the City Centre Masterplan area. An analysis of the top three ranked sites was undertaken via selection criteria, site visits and advice from professional planning staff. The current site - 23-31 Gordon Street - was chosen as the preferred location. 

    Specific advantages of this site include:

    • Close to Coffs Central and Harbour Drive, allowing people to combine visits with their day-to-day shopping, socialising and other activities.
    • Highly visible street-frontage location with a big impact on how the community and visitors see the character of Coffs Harbour.
    • Priority pedestrian access which is safe and attractive, particularly for older residents, children and parents with prams. Fully accessible for people with limited mobility.
    • Night-time activation of the CBD, bringing more life to the City after 5pm.
    • Secure and attractive outdoor areas.
    • Walking distance from public transport with a minimal gradient.
    • Access to convenient and safe car parking.
    • Importantly, the site is where people already go for work, shopping and socialising. This is vital for both young users and older members of the community - both groups are often dependent on public transport. 45% of these groups are members of the central library.

    Parking will be available both around the new building and in the multi-storey car park behind the precinct. Coffs Harbour CBD currently contains about 4,000 public car parking spaces – about 75% of this total is on the east side of the highway, 25% on the west. About half of the supply are on-street spaces and half are off-street. Some of the main off-street car parks include: Coffs Central (900 spaces), Woolworths (250 spaces), Lyster St (180 spaces), Elbow St (140 spaces). The parking assessment for the project concludes that: “Car parking requirements (i.e. supply and demand) have been modelled out to 10 years after opening of the facility and demand is satisfied by the proposed supply of basement car parking and capacity in the public carpark network surrounding the site."  


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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 3 months 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 4 months 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 4 months 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 6 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 6 months ago

    H Klagalla,

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