ESC students Alaric and Mhairi spent some time with Whipstick Ward Councillor, Julie Sloan to learn about plans for the Peter Krenz Centre.
As most Eaglehawk residents may be aware, the Peter Krenz Center development plan is a major undertaking that will cost millions of dollars. The center has been in existence since 1976 and has done a fantastic job in meeting the needs of the community.
Over the years the facility has had additions made to it in order to cope with demand as the Eaglehawk community has grown. Currently, the building is old and parts of it are at the end of their useful life. Residents are looking for a facility such as a modern and fresh environment.
Several years ago, in the last council term, it was decided that the issue needed to be addressed. A community reference group was formed and people were invited to be part of the group to obtain feedback. Two areas were mapped: the dry area, and the wet area. It was determined that the wet area, containing the pool, could continue on as it is for a bit longer, but will eventually need redevelopment. The dry area needed to be developed and updated whilst continuing to provide services.
The Community Reference Group recommended redeveloping the Centre into a multi-purpose community hub which will provide services such as a library and a café, a gym, group fitness, community meeting and activity rooms.
The project involves two stages: the dry area near Lake Neangar, and the wet area which is the pool area. This will mean that part of the existing building will be demolished with the new addition to be developed from the current main entrance towards Lake Neanger.
The pool shell is still serviceable for the next 15 years, however, the area to the north, which is termed the dry area, containing the gym, the basketball court and the squash courts are no longer being well used, which is not ideal as it costs money to maintain. From a financial perspective, it is not viable to have an asset that is not servicing the needs of the community. Furthermore, it has been noted that some of the Eaglehawk community are no longer happy to go to the Peter Krenz Centre and have moved to the Gurri Wanyarra Wellbeing Centre at Kangaroo Flat.
“Upon completion, it will be stunning, bringing new opportunities for the community”.
“It’s not going to happen overnight. It’s a long term project”.
The community consultation process has only recently been completed and is now closed. A final report is being developed, soon to be released, which will outline feedback from the community and suggested next steps. The project will require funding from both state and federal government as well as a local council contribution as it is a major piece of work. Upon completion, it will be stunning, bringing new opportunities for the community where people will be able to meet their friends, have a lunch, go to the library, and have that connectivity.
There will be glass areas that overlook the lake, a connection to the skate park, Canterbury Park and the play area. It will be a user friendly, community friendly space with rooms where groups can meet.
“It’s where you will go if your group wants to do something off site. You’ll be able to go down there, get a park, use the library and hire one of the community rooms”.
At the moment, the idea is quite basic, but when the final plan is released the detail will be revealed. The second stage which is the wet area will not
be commenced until stage one is complete.