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Civic Centre Upgrade given green light

08 August 2018

Critical refurbishment works, accessibility improvements and a revamped customer service area are flagged for Mosman’s Civic Centre, as well as other major civic facilities, following Council approval on Tuesday 7 August.

The Civic Centre Upgrade will be combined with improvements to Barry O’Keefe Library and the council depot to form the Capital Building Works Program, which will be constructed by Intermain Pty Ltd and run from September to December 2018.

While primarily focused on essential repair work to Mosman Council’s ageing ventilation, flooring, furniture and drainage systems, the Civic Centre Upgrade will also improve disability access and facilities in the Chambers and adjoining Seniors Centre, and modernise the customer service and foyer area.

Mosman Council Environment and Planning Director Craig Covich said the project responded to an urgent need to bring the civic facilities to an agreeable standard, following a series of incidents highlighting the need for repairs.

“Essentially this is a very conservative effort to ensure staff and customers are in a safe, properly-ventilated and properly-sheltered civic centre with appropriate levels of access; but by combining a number of works into the one tender we have been able to reduce overall costs and undertake additional improvements to our facilities rather than carrying out basic repairs,” he said.

“We’re most excited about the reconfigured customer service area which will make face-to-face interactions between staff and residents a smoother and more personal experience. The introduction of an atrium and some fresh, new carpet in the local library will also be a welcome change.”

Mr Covich said he and his colleagues were also looking forward to retiring the scores of buckets brought out during inclement weather.

The Civic Centre building suffers leaks and occasional flooding when it rains, and has pieces of roof dislodge at random, including once in the midst of a public Council meeting. The building is also prone to air conditioning failures and summer power outages and has had no major refurbishment work undertaken since Australia’s bicentenary in 1988.

“Repairs to the Civic Centre have been on the cards for some time, but uncertainty over the council amalgamation process further delayed action,” Mr Covich said.

“The building will need full redevelopment eventually, but this will require significantly more funds and a much longer planning process. In the interim, there are a number of works that are essential to ensure the building is a habitable space for Mosman Council staff and members of the public. These works provide a much needed extension to the usability of the Civic Centre, during which time, longer term redevelopment can be properly considered.”

Further information about the project will be publicised over coming weeks as plans are finalised.