Re­vamped power sta­tion a place to en­er­gise youth

Pilbara News - - News - Tom Zaun­mayr

A sym­bol of Pil­bara power and his­tory con­verted into a youth haven is to open within weeks in Onslow.

The old power sta­tion on Sec­ond Av­enue has been leased and fixed up by V Swans for use as a high-tech youth drop-in cen­tre to give Onslow young­sters a safe and in­spir­ing place to hang out.

The re­pur­posed build­ing is now decked out with vir­tual re­al­ity, big-screen TVs, game con­soles, wi-fi, com­put­ers and tablets, a pizza oven, bar­be­cues and even books.

V Swans gen­eral man­ager Ni­cole Graves said she hoped the fa­cil­ity would be­come a well-loved in­sti­tu­tion for the Onslow com­mu­nity.

“It will cer­tainly be a busy lit­tle place once it gets up and run­ning,” she said.

“For us it is a first in terms of own­ing and run­ning a fa­cil­ity in the Pil­bara.

“Plenty of the his­tory of the build­ing is still vis­i­ble, which was im­por­tant to us and the lo­cal com­mu­nity.”

Part of that his­tory — a large gantry — re­mains ex­posed as a re­minder of the build­ings’ in­dus­trial roots.

Graf­fiti over the walls dur­ing its years of de­cay has been pho­tographed to use as art­work for the fixed in­te­rior.

Mrs Graves said a soft open­ing would hap­pen when the fi­nal touches were made, hope­fully within the next few weeks.

An of­fi­cial open­ing event has been con­sid­ered for midyear.

Shire of Ash­bur­ton Coun­cil­lors ap­proved a five-year lease to V Swans for the premises, with an ad­di­tional five-year op­tion, at its March coun­cil meet­ing.

The Shire will now ne­go­ti­ate fi­nal terms and ex­e­cute a com­mu­nity lease agree­ment with the or­gan­i­sa­tion.

The cen­tre will be open on week­days from 2.15pm to 6.30pm and week­ends from 11am to 6.30pm.

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