Wick­ham hub plan goes to ten­der

Pilbara News - - News - Ali­cia Per­era

Con­struc­tion of the long-awaited Wick­ham Com­mu­nity Hub is on the hori­zon af­ter the City of Kar­ratha coun­cil last week voted to call for build­ing ten­ders.

At their Fe­bru­ary meet­ing, coun­cil­lors sup­ported a fi­nal de­sign plan for the hub by ar­chi­tects Gres­ley Abas in con­sul­ta­tion with the City and Wick­ham com­mu­nity and voted to move ahead with con­struc­tion.

The es­ti­mated $18 mil­lion build­ing, de­scribed as sim­i­lar to the re­cently built Dampier Com­mu­nity Hub, will be lo­cated next to the Wick­ham Re­cre­ation Precinct and in­clude a new li­brary, early learn­ing cen­tre, in­ter­nal and ex­ter­nal youth spa­ces in­clud­ing skate park and two multi-pur­pose rooms.

Ten­ders were also called for the de­sign and con­struc­tion of a wa­ter play­ground, which will be added to the ex­ist­ing swim­ming pool.

Wick­ham Com­mu­nity Hub Ref­er­ence Group head and com­mu­nity chap­lain Richard Goscombe said it was en­cour­ag­ing to see the hub project progress to the ten­der­ing stage af­ter more than 10 years in devel­op­ment.

“We need to move for­ward with this, and to see coun­cil make a de­ci­sion to say ‘yes, we need to start the process’ is very pos­i­tive,” he said.

Mr Goscombe said there was high de­mand for the hub from com­mu­nity groups in Wick­ham, es­pe­cially as the old high school build­ing, where many of are cur­rently lo­cated, is “lit­er­ally fall­ing down”.

“It’s not just of an ex­ten­sive scope, it’s go­ing to be ex­ten­sively used,” he said. “This is not go­ing to be a fa­cil­ity sit­ting idle.”

City of Kar­ratha Mayor Peter Long said the City was ea­ger to move the project along and was seek­ing Fed­eral and State gov­ern­ment fund­ing to go with Rio Tinto’s $8 mil­lion com­mit­ment to­wards its con­struc­tion.

“This project has been un­der dis­cus­sion in the Wick­ham com­mu­nity for many years and I am proud that we have fi­nally set­tled on a fan­tas­tic de­sign which will mod­ernise the fa­cil­i­ties avail­able in the town,” he said.

Mr Goscombe said in­vest­ing in qual­ity fa­cil­i­ties for youth ser­vices was im­por­tant for en­cour­ag­ing young fam­i­lies to stay long-term.

The Wick­ham Com­mu­nity Hub is part of an in­fra­struc­ture part­ner­ship be­tween the City and Rio.

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