Hilltops Council, in partnership with the NSW Department of Education, continues the planning for the proposed purpose-built joint-use facility with Young High School to provide a shared library service as well a range of other possible 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.
The Business Case submitted to the Regional Cultural Fund had considered three options with the funding of $3 million being awarded for a purpose-built joint-use facility with Young High School as the preferred option based on the business case.
Last Wednesday, Hilltops Council resolved to accept the Regional Cultural Fund Grant of $3 million for the joint-use facility and have delegated the General Manager to begin negotiations on a Heads of Agreement which is the next step in the joint use process. The Heads of Agreement, which will be between Council and the NSW Department of Education, is the process by which the further details of the project, facility and its operation are agreed. This agreement provides a high level operating model for the facility.
Once negotiated, the Heads of Agreement will return to the Council for a formal resolution to support the agreement and then move forward to the Project Deed. The Project Deed is the binding legal agreement that will underpin the entire management and operation of the joint-use facility.
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 Steering Committee for the project for which all people who wanted to be part of the Committee were accepted. Council is taking on board all community concerns in relation to the project and are committed to conserving the heritage of Carrington Park.
Heritage and traffic consultants have been engaged to undertake a thorough analysis of the site with the heritage consultants working to deliver a set of heritage specific principles that address all heritage features including Aboriginal cultural values, archaeological and built heritage to guide the design of the facility.
Both Council and the NSW Department of Education are committed to ensuring that due diligence is undertaken with these elements of the precinct and once the architects have these studies and are fully informed of the site’s constraints and opportunities then they will proceed to work on the design guided by not only the facility design and heritage principles.
The Council is conscious that many in the community are eager to see a design of the facility to help understand its function and location however until the analysis by the heritage and traffic consultants is undertaken the design will not be forthcoming. At this point in time the building has not been designed. Council is looking forward to sharing the concept plans with the community once they are developed.
Council would like to assure the Hilltops community in Harden and Boorowa that their library facilities will remain open.
“The Harden and Boorowa libraries will not be closing as both library branches are valuable assets to support learning and social inclusion in each of the local communities. Hilltops Council is investigating the need for additional resources at Harden and Boorowa libraries to expand services and support the increased linkages between the town libraries.” said Mayor Brian Ingram.
Brian Ingram 0417 233 687