A ‘sod turning’ ceremony was held today to mark the start of construction on the $74 million Queanbeyan Civic and Cultural Precinct (QCCP).
The event was attended by Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council Mayor Cr Tim Overall and CEO Peter Tegart, Construction Manager at ADCO Matthew Wilkinson and highly respected local Elder Dr Aunty Matilda House.
Presently, Council staff are spread across 11 different buildings in the CBD and this project will consolidate staff into a new fit-for-purpose building.
The QCCP will be constructed on the site of the former Council administration building at 257 Crawford Street and into the Lowe Street car park.
The development will also have a strong focus on community and cultural purposes, with more than 40 per cent of the precinct comprising community spaces, gallery linkages to The Q and Bicentennial Hall, new basement parking and public domain for civic events.
“[The QCCP] is the catalyst that allows us to get on with the transformation of the CBD by freeing up council-owned properties for possible future development,” said Mayor Overall. “It is a key project in bringing more people and vitality to the heart of Queanbeyan.”
Fencing will be installed throughout late July and early August to secure the construction site and make it safe for demolition and significant excavation to commence.
Council CEO Peter Tegart said staff were already starting to prepare for the new office and facilities.
“Although the construction is expected to take approximately two years, council staff are already beginning to prepare for the way they will work in the new facility,” Mr Tegart said.
“The site on which the new precinct is being constructed was a previous council administration building and provides fond memories for long-standing and former Council staff.”
“Since moving out of the previous building in the early 2010s staff have been scattered across 11 buildings around the Queanbeyan CBD. Having those staff housed under the one roof in the future will provide enormous advantages including greater collaboration and increased productivity – all for the benefit of the Queanbeyan-Palerang community.”
The sod turning event included a smoking of the ground by Dr House to acknowledge ancestors and pay respect to past and present traditional custodians of the land.
As well as providing a new customer service centre for the community needing to interact or do business with Council, the precinct will include commercial lettable space for initiatives such as smart hubs and space for NSW Government offices.