Council in partnership with key community stakeholders, has undertaken a project to shape the future of the Deans Marsh Community Hall and Cottage (including the early learning / childcare space). We know that these facilities are very much loved by the community, so thank you to everyone who has provided input into the process to develop the Plan for your multi-purpose community hub.

What's happened so far

Following extensive engagement, two draft concepts were presented to the community in November 2022 for feedback. Based on responses from community members a Draft Plan was produced by the architect in June 2023.

Public exhibition of the Draft Plan was undertaken from 5 June 2023 to 10 July 2023. Community and stakeholder feedback was collated and reviewed, including identifying all themes / topics and providing responses to each.

Through late 2023 and early 2024 Officers worked with the architect to refine the design in the final Plan in response to feedback received. This final concept design aims to achieve an outcome that is a balance of all evidence, expertise and the community feedback throughout the entire project, and will provide a fit-for-purpose facility reflecting the current and future community needs identified through the engagement process.

While obtaining full funding for the entire facility is the aim, staging the development of the facility will help to increase the likelihood of securing external funding support. The new facility is estimated to cost $8.41m (ex GST), with a preferred option to stage construction. Two stages have been identified; Stage 1 at $6.89m ex GST and Stage 2 at $1.84m. Staging slightly increases the build cost resulting in a total of $8.73m. Stage 2 would complete the Early Years component when funding can be sourced (and in line with increased need).

Download the plan and the final design

Next steps

The Plan will be considered by Council for endorsement at the 26 March 2024 Council Meeting. The meeting is to be held at the Deans Marsh Community Hall at 6.00pm. It would be great for all people interested in the project to attend the Council Meeting to hear the discussion and outcome.

If the Plan is endorsed, the project will be considered investment-ready and Officers can then work to source external funding when opportunities arise.

Rebuild cost

Following a question from a community member at the 26 September 2023 Council Meeting relating to the cost to 'repair and protect' the building, a commitment was made by the CEO in her response to provide a comparative cost plan to further demonstrate the cost benefit of the proposed approach.

Given the extent of deterioration and to make the building compliant any ‘repair and protect’ option exceeding 50% of the building volume essentially means replacement of many elements of the building. In addition, it will not meet the functional requirements, needs and aspirations expressed by the community. Given this, the repair / protect (aka renewal of the existing structure) option is not supported.

On that basis, a cost plan has been produced to provide an indication of the cost to rebuild a facility like-for-like to the existing building. The indicative estimated cost to replicate exactly what exists now is $4,482,000 (GST exclusive as at March 2024 – updated from $4,440,700 GST inclusive in October 2023). The estimate covers preparation and rebuilding of the existing facility, with a formalised car park, minimum 450mm subfloor space and to current building standards, internal finishes to represent the existing, timber framed floor with polished boards to the Hall area and ramps and steps to entry as required.