Mandurah Performing Arts Centre water feature to be decommissioned

The water feature with its artwork will be replaced.
The water feature with its artwork will be replaced.

THE water feature at Mandurah Performing Arts Centre will be replaced in a “refocus” of the 20-year old building.

A tender has also been accepted by the City of Mandurah to install a 10-person lift from the foyer to the mezzanine level.

The council was told at its meeting last night that replacement of the water feature would address ongoing issues including water quality, water use, visual amenity, recurrent costs and safety.

The feature must be topped up every day due to leakage, pump tanks and pipe work as well as significant evaporation losses from the shallow water body.

Ongoing issues also include algae build up and rubbish collection, detracting from the centre’s appearance.

Regular complaints are received from the public, centre and council staff regarding poor water quality, appearance and visitor safety.

Art gallery curator Gary Aitken’s artwork displayed in the water feature – recalling the 1959 tragedy when four nuns and a priest drowned in Peel Inlet -will be retained elsewhere.

The 2014 Mandjar Square Redevelopment Master Plan recommended reducing the size of the feature and three options – retaining as is, reducing the size and replacing the feature – were considered.

The MPAC board and original architects Hames Sharley recommended decommissioning of the feature.

When the feature is decommissioned it will be replaced with low plantings and landscaping with a grove of white slimed trunked paperbark trees and up-lighting.

The existing walkway under the canopy to the main entry would be widened providing a site for markets, performers or long table lunches and the box office would be relocated outside.

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