Hilltops Council, School Infrastructure NSW (SINSW) and the Department of Education signed a joint-use Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in November 2017 and agreed, as partners, they would explore the feasibility of a joint use school community-library that would provide a greater level of public benefit and avoid duplication of services. The joint-use Library and Community Facility would be the focal point of the emerging Hilltops Cultural, Community and Education Precinct.
In June 2017, the NSW Department of Education (DE) announced that Young High School would be upgraded with a new library to support growing educational and community needs in the area. In September 2017 Hilltops Council submitted an Expression of Interest for a grant from the Regional Cultural Fund to go towards a new library in Young. The need for a new community library had been identified in the 2014 Cultural Infrastructure Masterplan commissioned by Young Shire Council prior to amalgamation with Harden and Boorowa Shires.
There were obvious potential synergies to develop a joint-use project between DE through Young High School and Hilltops Council that would add value to both the school and the community and would make more cost effective use of infrastructure. The Department of Education, School Infrastructure NSW (SINSW) and Hilltops Council signed a joint-use Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in November 2017 and agreed, as partners, they would explore the feasibility of a joint-use school community-library that would provide a greater level of public benefit and avoid duplication of services. The joint-use Library and Community Facility would be the focal point of the emerging Hilltops Cultural, Community and Education Precinct.
In April 2018 Hilltops Council submitted a Business Case to the Regional Cultural Fund that considered three options with funding of $3 million being awarded to Hilltops Council for a purpose-built joint-use facility with Young High School as the preferred option based on the Business Case.
Hilltops Council has allocated another $3.5 million towards the project with $2 million from the Stronger Communities Fund and $1.5 million allocated in its Long-Term Financial Plan bringing the total contribution of Hilltops Council to the joint-use Library and Community Facility to $6.5 million.
The preliminary concept and Business Case for the joint-use Library and Community Facility include a shared library service as well a range of other facilities including arts workshop and exhibition space, IT training hub, meeting rooms, maker space, virtual conferencing, support for tertiary education, a proactive youth focused well-being hub and a Wiradjuri learning and cultural centre.
Hilltops Council has signed a Heads of Agreement with SINSW which outlines further matters relating to the facilities use and governance. The next step in the process of formalising the joint-use arrangement will be the development of a legally binding Project Deed that will underpin the entire management and operation of the joint-use facility.
Heritage and traffic consultants have been engaged to undertake a thorough planning analysis. Both Council and SINSW are committed to ensuring that due diligence is undertaken with these elements of the project. The building location has been determined taking into consideration feedback from the traffic and heritage consultants.
Consultation on the library project has been ongoing with the first open community engagement meeting on the proposed joint-use facility held in November 2017 followed by the establishment of a Community Project Steering Committee for the project for which all people who wanted to be part of the Committee were accepted.
Council is committed to ongoing engagement with the community throughout the development and design stages. We are taking on board all community concerns in relation to the project and are committed to conserving the heritage of Carrington Park which we understand is one of the key concerns for the community.
Feedback can be provided to Council by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by writing to the General Manager, 189-205 Boorowa Street, Young NSW 2594.
You can also get in touch with the project team by emailing email@example.com or calling 1300 482 651
- November 2017
- November 2017 to March 2018- Council online survey
- March 2018- Listening Posts with Council staff and Councillors to provide feedback on concept design and strategic framework
- March 2018 to April 2018- ‘Think outside the box’ Student Library Design Competition
- March 2018- Ongoing- Steering Committee Meetings
- July 2019- Community Information Sessions
At the February 2018 Council meeting it was resolved that the Community Project Steering Committee would be established for the Precinct project.
A project timeline from 2010 through to March 2018 was shared with the Community Project Steering Committee in March.
- April 2018- Business Case submitted to the Regional Cultural Fund
- June 2018
- June 2018- Student library design competition winners announced
- July 2018- Heads of Agreement first discussed at Council meeting
- August 2018- Extraordinary meeting of Council resolved to sign the Heads of Agreement
- October 2018
Hilltops Council and School Infrastructure NSW have shared a range of updates in relation to this project.
Council Reports and Minutes
Council Reports and Minutes related to this project are listed below:
22 November 2017
28 February 2018
27 June 2018
25 July 2018
26 September 2018
26 June 2019
After the MOU was signed between Hilltops Council and SINSW in November 2017, Hayball Architects were contracted in late November 2017 to develop a high- level strategic framework and concept design for the potential joint-use project. The main design considerations included:
- Developing the school as a community hub to support whole of life learning for Hilltops
- Win: Win, achieve an outcome for the community and the school which adds value for both the school and the community
- Create an appropriate civic response
A set of guiding principles for the joint-use facility were also developed from a synthesis of principles from the School Infrastructure NSW Educational Facilities Standards and Guidelines (EFSG), the NSW State Library People Places Guide and Universal Design Principles. The principles were presented at the first meeting with the Steering Committee.
The preliminary concept design and Business Case for the joint-use Library and Community Facility include a shared library service as well a range of other facilities including arts workshop and exhibition space, IT training hub, meeting rooms, maker space, virtual conferencing, support for tertiary education, a proactive youth focused well-being hub and a Wiradjuri learning and cultural centre.
Hilltops Council and School Infrastructure NSW have shared a range of updates in relation to this project.
Frequently Asked Questions
How will the partnership between the NSW Department of Education and Hilltops Council work?
The Library and Community Facility is a joint-use project. This means the new facilities are shared between the school and Hilltops Council. The joint-use approach has been endorsed by the NSW Government and forms a key aspect of planning for future school and community facility provision.
In 2018, the NSW Department of Education and Hilltops Council signed a Heads of Agreement, which sets out design principles, facility use and governance of the joint-use Library and Community Facility. This is a step towards both parties signing a legally binding project deed covering the management structures, legal and financial arrangements, design and construction considerations and governance of the joint-use Facility.
Who is funding the project?
Hilltops Council is contributing $6.5 million to the joint-use library and community facility. This is made up of $3 million from the Regional Cultural Fund, $2 million from the Stronger Communities Fund and $1.5 million from the Council’s long-term financial plan.
The NSW Department of Education is responsible for funding the remainder of the project, as part of the NSW Government’s allocation of $6.5 billion over the next four years to deliver more than 190 projects across the state.
How is school and community input being provided to the project team?
Following community engagement in 2017, a Community Project Steering Committee was set up to ensure local people’s voices are listened to as the project progresses.
A Project Reference Group has also been established. This comprises representatives from Hilltops Council, the NSW Department of Education, School Principal, the school P&C committee, librarians, and the design team. This group will continue to meet to provide advice and endorsement as the project develops.
How are heritage considerations being taken into account?
We recognise the importance of respecting the heritage features of the land, Carrington Park, the old courthouse and its setting. This has influenced the development of the design to date. Heritage studies, including European and Aboriginal, have been conducted and will continue to inform the project’s design as the project develops.
How are traffic considerations being taken into account?
A traffic study has been commissioned and will inform the development of the design for the new facility to maintain and enhance parking, access and connectivity. Ensuring accessibility for all is a key component of the project and will be an important consideration in developing the design.
What measures are being put in place to ensure the safety of school students and community users in one facility?
Joint-use libraries have operated in Australia for many years. We have drawn on the successful designs and protocols used by others to ensure everyone can safely access and enjoy the facility.
Currently we have incorporated variable security boundaries for the joint-use space facing Carrington Park; one for use during school hours and another for use after school hours. There will also be separate access points and secure lines and dividers used within the library to separate community spaces, joint-use spaces and school spaces during school hours.
What is the Library and Community Facility?
The Library and Community Facility is being delivered as a partnership between the NSW Department of Education - School Infrastructure and Hilltops Council.
The Library and Community Facility is proposed to be located at Young High School on Department of Education land and fully integrated with Carrington Park. The facility will be jointly used by the school and the residents of Young and the wider Hilltops community.
The schematic design includes a 2.5 storey building that includes:
- Reading areas
- Meeting rooms
- A multipurpose workshop
- Computer lab
- Wellbeing hub
- Coffee bar
- Wiradjuri learning and cultural centre
What is the Hilltops Cultural, Community and Education Precinct?
The Hilltops Cultural, Community and Education Precinct aims to enhance cultural and educational opportunities for the entire Hilltops community through unifying existing education and cultural facilities in the precinct area (Young TAFE, Young High School, Hennessy Catholic College, Lambing Flat Museum, Young Community Arts Trust Centre and Young Regional School of Music) and through investing in new facilities. At the heart of this precinct, is the joint-use Hilltops Library and Community Facility.
What planning approval pathway will this project take?
As the project has a value of more than $20m, it is classed as a State Significant Development. This means the development application will be determined by the NSW Government’s Department of Planning and Environment (DPE).
In October 2018 the project team submitted a Secretary’s Environmental Assessment Requirements (SEARs) request. This is the first step in the planning approval process and included a concept desig and description of the project.
The next steps in the SSD planning process are as follows:
- Submission of the Secretary’s Environmental Assessment Requirements (SEARs).
- Lodgement of the development application- including an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and detailed technical studies. This will be placed on public exhibition for a minimum of 28 days.
- Response to submissions report is completed by School Infrastructure NSW.
- Planning approval obtained with conditions of consent and main works construction commences.
Who is School Infrastructure NSW (SINSW)?
School Infrastructure NSW is a part of the Department of Education and is leading the delivery of the NSW Government’s $6 billion investment over the next four years to deliver more than 170 new and upgraded schools for communities across the state. In addition, a record $847 million is being spent on school maintenance over four years, along with a record $500 million for the sustainable Cooler Classrooms program to provide air conditioning to schools. This is the largest investment in public education infrastructure in the history of NSW.
Who are the architects working on the project and what is their experience in designing community facilities?
Hayball Architects, with offices in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, are the Head Design Consultant for the Hilltops Library and Community Facility. https://www.hayball.com.au/projects/
How can the community get involved in the project?
School Infrastructure NSW and Hilltops Council are committed to working with the school and the wider community to deliver the best possible facility.
There will be opportunities to view the plans, meet the project team, ask questions and give feedback throughout the project’s development.
We invite you to join us at one of three information sessions. These will be held on Thursday 4th July 2019 at the following locations and times:
- Hilltops Council (Young Office) between 12pm – 2pm
- Young High School between 2.30pm – 5.30pm
- Hilltops Council (Young Office) between 6pm – 8pm
You can get in touch with the project team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 1300 482 651