THE derelict former Deanmore Pre-Primary site in Karrinyup, which has been vacant for four years, may not be demolished thanks to a children’s charity.
Executive operations manager of children’s charity Meerilinga, Louise MacFarlane, was driving her daughter to school in peak-hour traffic when she noticed the run-down site, which she thought would be a perfect fit for a community centre.
“We then found out it was going to be demolished; that’s when we swung into action and put a proposal forward to the City of Stirling,” she said.
“We’re hoping to be able to put in a community family centre, similar to our six other centres around Perth.”
The site was recommended for demolition at last week’s council meeting but after hearing a proposal from a Meerilinga representative, the item was held over for discussions with the organisation.
The demolition would have cost the City an estimated $35,000 after three years of consulting with community groups, who turned it down because of refurbishment costs.
Meerilinga is a not-for-profit organisation and registered charity. It was established more than 100 years ago, founded on the kindergarten movement, and aims to provide a positive community environment for families.
Ms MacFarlane said the community centre would offer playgroups, mothers’ groups, community courses, yoga and art classes, child health nurses and speech pathologists.
“It would also be available for the community first aid courses, support groups, choirs, yoga and used for party and function hire,” she said.
“Hopefully it is something that will end up being really valuable to the community.
“This site has been vacant for four years and I certainly think there is a real need in this area for our services.”
Ms MacFarlane said discussions with the City’s executives had started and the group would approach Lotterywest for funding.
“We know we’re going to need in the order of $250,000-$300,000, a figure quoted by City of Stirling,” she said.
“If all goes to plan, it could be here by the end of 2018.”