BALLARAT building contractor S.J. Weir has won a $4.6 million contract to restore the interior of the Civic Hall, returning this public building to its former glory as a grand space for the community.
The first stage of the works, fully funded by the City of Ballarat, is underway and is expected to be completed this year.
The internal works will include the installation of two lifts to the mezzanine and stage area, to make all spaces in the building fully accessible to all members of the community.
The works include new heating, cooling, ventilation, insulation, electrical, lighting, painting plumbing and fire services.
The interior fixtures and finishes will also be restored and upgraded, including acoustic treatment to make the hall suitable for a wide variety of users.
The works will create 11 direct jobs throughout the construction phase of the project and inject more than $4 million into the local economy.
Works are nearing completion on the Civic Plaza, which wraps around the south-west corner of the Civic Hall. Once complete, this area will be an urban oasis in Mair Street. The staged landscaping works were awarded to another Ballarat construction company, S.H.A.E Enterprises.
The City of Ballarat will continue to lobby for the additional funding needed to complete the full design concepts created by a design team lead by Baumgart Clark Architects.
City of Ballarat Mayor Samantha McIntosh said that for decades the Civic Hall was Ballarat’s premier social venue, and this redevelopment will bring this community asset back to life.
“We, as a Council, are very proud to have got things moving again to ensure this building and its surrounds continue to play a significant role in the story of Ballarat,” she said.
“After ten years of very hard work, with the community, lobbying to retain the hall, to ensure it wasn’t demolished and what we are seeing now is demolition of some of the add-in features that have been introduced over the decades.
“What we are doing is peeling it back to its original structure and then we will start with the renovations.” “I’m thrilled a Ballarat company was chosen to undertake the Civic Hall restoration works – it’s fantastic when contracts of this size are awarded to a local business. “ Architect Marcus Baumgart Director Baumgart Clark Architects said this was an exciting and challenging project to work on.
“We are down to two lists,” he said.
“The lists were really essential to make the disability footpath because when this building was built they didn’t think too much about levels and wheelchairs and things like that.” “We have worked on projects similar to this in terms of their relationship to the community.” This is stage 1 of the project and Cr McIntosh added that there would be a greater impact and benefit to the community when works enter stage 2.
“What we really want to see happen is in the end is Civic Hall talking to GovHub next door, so there will be further stages and more significant plantings that will be rolled out,” she said.