The following information has been taken from the MRSC website:
The transformation of the historic 150-year-old former Romsey Primary School building into a community health centre surrounded by an all-inclusive park has begun.
Many local residents have long expressed a desire for the old primary school site to remain as a place where the community could continue to gather and where links between community members could be strengthened and this project responds to that wish.
The Romsey project has been the focus of significant work over the past six months amongst a broad range of partners including Cobaw Community Health, the Greater Romsey All Abilities Park group, Council and the appointed architects for the project.
The project incorporates two key elements – a new community health centre in the former school building and a community park on the remainder of the site.
Former school building project update
Council and Cobaw have been working with the architects over the past several months on the designs for the renovation and extension of the former school building, which will serve as a community health centre.
The building design translates Cobaw’s service requirements into a user friendly and welcoming building that will be an asset to the local town.
The drawings reflect the fact that a heritage overlay exists on the site which requires the original heritage features of the building to be conserved and any additions to be complementary to the original building.
The design(PDF, 1MB) is based around the original building being restored and given full prominence on the site. The building extension aims to sit subtly behind the original building and amongst the planned parkland to enjoy the beautiful aspect that the park will create.
We are working towards a construction timeframe for the building restoration and extension works of mid spring-summer 2017-2018.
Community Park project update
Throughout August and early September 2016 Council’s appointed landscape architect conducted a number of consultation activities including a pop-up event outside the Romsey IGA, an online and paper based survey, a community group workshop, workshops with school children and a community visioning event on the site on 11 September. Throughout this consultation phase lots of community ideas for inclusions in the park were gathered.
The architect then took all those ideas away and considered other inputs such as GRAAP’s work in developing a vision for the site and translated them into a plan for the park. This plan captures elements and features to be included in the park such as an active play zone, a picnic space, an events space, a water play area and a sensory/therapeutic space. The concept plan is also available for viewing along with some artist’s impressions on this webpage.
The size and scale of the proposed park development will require a staged approach to completing the entire site. The staging plan(PDF, 6MB) reflects this approach and suggests potential future stages of construction.
This is a community park project, led originally by the Greater Romsey All Abilities Park (GRAAP) community group. GRAAP in partnership with Council successfully obtained funds in late 2015 which will translate into stage one of the park development.
We anticipate the first stage will be constructed in spring/summer 2017/2018.
One of the many roles of GRAAP is to promote their vision and aspirations for the site. This involves continually planning for the completion of future stages and identifying funding sources that could be targeted.
The next phase of the project is the tendering for the construction of the building works and stage 1 of the park.
This will be completed over August and September 2017. We aim to commence construction in October 2017.
Council purchased the old school site from the Department of Early Childhood and Education in September 2015 in support of local community efforts to create an all-abilities park.
GRAAP Inc. has worked over the past eight years to realise its vision of a passive open space on the site for all ages and abilities, created with natural materials, interactive elements and landscaping.
The project received a further boost when Cobaw committed to leasing the former school building to create a community health centre for local residents in the east of the shire. Cobaw is planning a centre which offers a variety of services and support to local community members across the lifespan.
In December 2015 Council, Cobaw and GRAAP obtained $997,478 in Australian Government funding to remodel the existing school building and convert it into a community health centre and to complete the first stage of the park. Major funding for the project is also being provided by Cobaw ($783,000, including funding from the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services) and Council ($215,000).