Armadale: City endorses concept plan for district hall upgrade

Armadale: City endorses concept plan for district hall upgrade

CITY of Armadale has endorsed a concept plan to upgrade the 80-year-old district hall and will seek a $1 million grant from Lotterywest to help pay for the project, which is expected to cost $4.3 million.

Armadale Mayor Henry Zelones said the original hall would be restored with services such as airconditioning and improved acoustics.

“Upgrades to the toilets, new retractable seating, new kitchen and additional backstage facilities will make the hall more functional for a wide range of uses,” Cr Zelones said.

The tourist rest centre and public toilet block near the hall would also be removed to address anti-social behaviour concerns.

They would be replaced by a universal access toilet near the visitor centre.

The city received 41 submissions, with 18 “generally positive” and 23 “generally negative” towards the proposal.

Issues raised included lack of parking, poor acoustics, backstage space and seating.

Cr Zelones said a number of changes have been made to the design of the hall based on public feedback.

These include retaining a portion of the gallery, retaining the front rooms that were added in the 1960s and reconfiguring the design to maximise the view to the original hall.

The carpark would be reconfigured to maximise the number of bays available while not affecting nearby trees.

A council report said it expected to lose just three parking bays, from 40 to 37.

It said there were 350 bays within 400m or a five-to-10-minute walk from the hall.

Cr Zelones said the new hall would provide an additional community space to help meet the needs of the City’s rapidly increasing population.

“It will deliver a very practical multi-use facility that can be used in many different ways for a wide range of activities,” he said.

The Heritage Council of WA said the proposed works would have a “minimal impact on the heritage values of the place and would provide a viable opportunity for the ongoing use of the building as a community centre”.

The Heritage Council said the demolition of the toilets would not have a negative impact on heritage values.

The City is hoping the upgrade can start early next year and is expected to take about 12 months to complete.