Melville councillors scrap to save Palmyra Pre-Primary building from demolition

The old pre-primary building at 43 Zenobia Street, Palmyra. Picture: Jon Hewson
The old pre-primary building at 43 Zenobia Street, Palmyra. Picture: Jon Hewson

A VACANT children’s education building in Palmyra has been touted for demolition by the City of Melville, despite rumblings that local groups are crying out for use of such a facility.

The old Palmyra Pre-Primary in Zenobia Street is one of several council-owned buildings earmarked to be knocked over in coming months.

Also on the chopping block is the former home of the Melville Bridge Club on Canning Highway, neighbouring houses in Ardross, a public toilet block near Point Walter Tennis Club and a group of buildings that occupy one corner of Canning Highway and Stock Road, one of which is still home to the Melville Theatre Company.

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Melville council will confirm the fate of each of the buildings at it’s next meeting on Tuesday, March 19, but it was the future of the Zenobia Street facility that mostly concerned the city’s councillors.

In response to their queries at this week’s briefing session, the council’s chief executive Marten Tieleman said staff would include more detail about the level of work required to save the former pre-primary centre.

Project coordinator Ian Davis described the condition of the 1960s-built building as poor and estimated it could cost $150,000 to repair it to education use standards.

The city wants to demolish the building, at a cost closer to $50,000, and return the shady site to public parkland.

Councillors such as June Barton and Patricia Phelan argued $50,000 would be better spent on repairs so the building could be made available to mothers’ groups or out-of-school care groups.

Cr Phelan suggested a busy-bee could help bridge the cost of repairs and would likely be embraced by the community, so keen are some local groups for a home.

Melville Bridge Club’s former home is now vacant and primed for demolition. Picture: Jon Hewson

The now vacant bridge club building is considered a strategic redevelopment site that could fetch close to $10m when made available for sale.

The Melville Theatre Company will move to the Melville civic hall when it’s lease ends in December, paving the way for Melville Health to progress plans for various health facilities at 391 Canning Highway.

Melville Health will foot the demolition bill of about $300,000 for the four buildings and has given assurances that its development will acknowledge the site as the former home of the Melville Roads Board, a local authority predecessor to the City of Melville.

7 Willcock Street, Ardross

A house in Ardross, at 5 Willcock Street, was bought by the council in 2015 so it could be amalgamated with three neighbouring blocks. The city wants to knock it and No.7 down concurrently.

Replacement toilets will be built at Point Walter Tennis Club.

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