More than 70 people participated in the latest round of talks on the Civic Hall’s future yesterday, with several key directions for the 300 Mair Street site identified by the community.
Project facilitator Gilbert Rochescouste informed the group that of the hundreds of submissions and dozens more ideas which came out of the previous workshops, “key directions” were now identified.
He said the views were collected by scouring through thousands of sticky notes, which participants produced at the previous workshop.
“All of those sticky notes had a story to tell,” he said.
“Some of them very different, that was our biggest challenge - how do you find unity and diversity?”
Mr Rochescouste said some “non-negotiables” identified by the community included adequate car parking, sustainable design and energy use, integration with the CBD and a connection with the library.
The group was asked to further workshop ideas including:
•Demolish existing building and redevelop into mixed use precinct.
•Green open space and parklands fully accessible to the public.
•Medium-sized entertainment venue.
•Multi-purpose hall restored.
•Demolish and redevelop into mixed use precinct.
City of Ballarat mayor Mark Harris said he was happy with the process so far.
“I think it went quite well,” he said.
“We’ve had the submissions, then workshops – this last one was aimed at fine tuning both those processes.”
Cr Harris said the spectrum of views ranged from simple retention, to building something new on the site.
He said the three most popular views were retention of the current building, adaptive re-use of the building and the creation of parkland.
“It’s not meant to be an in-house process,” he said.
“With council elections coming up, I’d hope people ask candidates about what they think.”
Cr Harris said a paper on the suggestions would now come before council, but the current group of councillors would not decide the Civic Hall’s fate.
“We’ve already undertaken that we won’t make a decision in our final weeks in council,” he said.
“That’s something that the new council will have to decide.”