BBRF LogoShire of Ravensthorpe Cultural Precinct

We are excited to bring you all the latest information on the progress of the new Ravensthorpe Cultural Precinct.  Be sure to visit this page to get updates, insights from the Design Team and photos from the Project.

GROUND BREAKING CEREMONY RAVENSTHORPE CULTURAL PRECINCT

Monday, 13 September 2021 saw the Ground Break Ceremony for the new Ravensthorpe Cultural Precinct.  Shire President, Keith Dunlop welcomed Rick Wilson FederalCr Dunlop Member for O’Connor, the Honourable Shelley Payne MLC, Councillors, Shire Staff and Community Members who gathered to mark this significant occasion. 

Cr Dunlop commenced with an Acknowledgement of Country and provided a short background of the first concepts for the Cultural Precinct in 2013 when the Ravensthorpe Community Resource Centre and the Ravensthorpe District Art Group started developing plans for renovating their existing buildings.  These discussions then led to a proposal to invite all community groups situated near or around the Jubilee Park to explore the possibility of a Cultural Precinct.

With funding opportunity arising through the Australian Government’s Building Better Regions Fund (Round 4), Council took the step from conception to implementation in 2019, moving quickly to gauge community support and propose a concept plan.  A resolution was passed by Council and the Shire submitted a grant application on behalf of the community.

In June 2020 the Shire was notified Ravensthorpe had been successful in obtaining $5.27 million from the Federal Government through the Building Better Regions Fund to build the Ravensthorpe Cultural Precinct and so began the planning and implementation of the project for the Ravensthorpe Cultural Precinct. 

Group Photo

Cr Dunlop outlined the services that will use the precinct at its completion will include, the Shire administration, Ravensthorpe Community Resource Centre, Medicare services, Ravensthorpe District Art Group, spaces for external services such as visiting psychologists, hairdressers and mental health officers, community use training room, community kitchen, function room, seniors, youth and playgroup multipurpose space, amphitheatre for events, playground, council chambers, visitors information centre and RV and caravan parking.

 The precinct has been designed to be modern but fit the landscape, particularly significant as Ravensthorpe sits within the Fitzgerald Biosphere and is known to be the eucalyptus epicenter of the world and it is envisaged the build will be completed by December 2022.

 

Cr Dunlop then invited Rick Wilson, Shelley Payne, Deputy Shire President Jules Bell and Director Corporate and Community Services for the Shire Les Mainwaring to join him for the first sod turning of the site. 

Councillors

 

 

NEW CULTURAL PRECINCT FOR RAVENSTHORPE COUNCIL TAKES NEXT STEP TOWARDS CONSTRUCTION

Ravensthorpe locals are a step closer to the construction of the Ravensthorpe Cultural Precinct.

The 1,400sqm community hub has been designed to be a dynamic, safe, and inclusive space for residents and visitors of all ages. It will offer a range of activities and services, including a visitor centre, seniors and playgroup spaces, Community Resource Centre (CRC), Council chambers and expanded administration offices.

The highly anticipated Cultural Precinct project was finally brought into reality through the generous support and contributions of 14 different businesses and community groups throughout the Shire, and the support of the Australian Government in Round 4 of the Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF).

The concept for the precinct has been in the sights of the community since 2013. With the funding opportunity arising through BBRF, Council took the step from conception to implementation in 2019, moving quickly to gauge community support and propose a concept plan. With this plan in place, Council passed a resolution to proceed in December 2019, with Councilor Ken Norman moving resolution 148/19, seconded by Councillor Jules Belli and passed 7-0.

The final agreement with the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources was approved in September 2020 and from there, a process of consultation and design led to the Head Contractor role being awarded to Devlyn Constructions in July. At the Council meeting on Tuesday 20 July 2021, the final approval to proceed to construction and engage the Head Contractor was passed 6-0 with resolution 78/21 moved by Councillor Mark Mudie and seconded by Councillor Tom Major.

The project has generated a lot of interest throughout the State due to the unusual method of construction. The LVL (laminated veneer lumber) timber portal frame, structural elements, and durable timber cladding will set this building apart from standard building methodologies and provide the community with a unique feature. Community members have also had an opportunity to view a 3D animation of the end result, featuring the modern ‘tin and timber’ look.  

The construction method is relatively quick, as its prefabricated approach allows much of the structure to be manufactured off site and erected within days of arrival to site. In a relatively small, isolated, and regional town such as Ravensthorpe, this is a time and cost-efficient construction method. The use of timber, not only for the structure but also the façade, has the added bonuses of being lightweight, fire resistant and also a highly sustainable product. The timber selected, Yellow Stringybark (or Eucalyptus muelleriana), is environmentally friendly, and sourced from 30-year-old WA plantation stock. This reflects the Shire’s overarching objective of sustainability as it is the home of the Fitzgerald Coast Biosphere, the only internationally recognised biosphere in Western Australia (UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, 2018). It is therefore important to the Shire that its actions serve to promote the objectives and enhance the experience of this unique and precious environment.

The Shire’s extensive planning and implementation of risk mitigation strategies allowed the project to progress despite the severe and unanticipated consequences of COVID-19particularly on the construction industry. Resources and supplies have been put under serious strain, leading to unstable prices and unsustainable cost increases. Nowhere has this been more severely felt than in remote and regional WA. Fortunately, the Shire had procured the timber for the cladding and engaged the timber frame contractor prior to the timber shortages becoming a major issue throughout Australia and the world. The cladding timber is currently curing at the mill (photo supplied by Inglewood Timber Mills), and the structural timber is ready to be assembled within the programme of works, off-site at the Timberbuilt factory.

Alongside the low maintenance requirements of the selected wood, the new precinct will reduce costs of upkeep as the co-location of facilities has allowed for the demolition of end-of-life asbestos structures, that were neither fit for purpose or inclusive.

Co-location of services also allows synergies between functions and cross-over use of facilities to be more aligned and much more efficient.

Shire of of Ravensthorpe President Keith Dunlop recently noted the precinct would provide a vital service and encourage social connections, saying "We look forward to opening up a whole new range of opportunities for the region and providing a space that is recognised as dynamic, safe and inclusive for all. The Council buildings are long overdue for a makeover, and the Shire has long been keen to provide healthy and fit-for-purpose offices spaces for our staff. This Precinct will go beyond that – it will be magnificent.” said Mr. Dunlop.

It won’t just be locals benefitting from the new centre; tourism is also set to receive a boost, increasing economic activity throughout the region. The centre will serve as a modern and managed tourism facility for the whole region, increasing both time and dollars spent in Ravensthorpe and beyond.

The Australian Government has committed $5,275,800 to the project.

Look for further updates and community events in the upcoming weeks!

For more information contact:

Natalie Bell
Project Manager
pm@ravensthorpe.wa.gov.au

 

CONCEPTUAL WALK THROUGH

Click on the following link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gTzA5i5stSo to get an animation walk through of the overall project once completed.