New vision for potential Joondalup performing arts centre

An artist impression of the new design concept for the Joondalup performing arts centre.
An artist impression of the new design concept for the Joondalup performing arts centre.

A NEW concept design for the Joondalup performing arts centre could cost the City about $59 million.

In 2017, the council voted not to proceed with the design development stage of the then-proposed $100 million facility so the City could develop a new vision for the project.

The review process has included options for the concept design, facility operations, funding and project objectives.

The new concept was costed by consultants at about $59 million and has fewer spaces than the previous design. However, according to a recent council report, the spaces have a “high degree of flexibility and are capable of housing multi-use activities”.

“The new concept is also estimated to have much lower operating costs; however it maintains a design standard appropriate for a world-class state-of-the art facility,” it said.

The new concept design features a primary theatre with 800 seats, a secondary ‘black box’ theatre with 200 seats, cafe or restaurant and bar, flexible foyer including gallery spaces, and box office.

An artist impression of the new design concept for the Joondalup performing arts centre.

This differs from the previous design by reducing the primary theatre from 850 seats to 800, removing the rehearsal rooms, community studios, dedicated gallery, outdoor plaza and conference rooms, and replacing the multi-storey carpark with an external carpark.

The Jinan Garden has also been removed so it can be developed sooner as its own project separate from the performing arts centre, which is expected to be completed by 2027-28.

The review of the operating costs have also been estimated at $390,000, rather than the $860,000 estimated for the previous design.

This is because of the smaller facility and reduction in staff numbers needed.

An artist impression of the new design concept for the Joondalup performing arts centre.

The council recently unanimously voted to adopt the concept design for further progression, including further refinement of capital and operating costs and the design, funding opportunity investigations and grant applications, and to prepare a business case.

“The City’s 20-year strategic plan assumes a total project capital cost of $80 million, with a maximum contribution from City reserves of $30 million,” the council document said.

This means the project still requires external government or private funding, which the City will continue to investigate.

Mayor Albert Jacob said adopting the concept design “does not provide authority to construct the facility”.

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