Arts centre milestone
Ararat Rural City Council’s vision for a major centre for the arts is a step closer to being realised, with the project reaching another major milestone.
Workers put pre-cast concrete panels into place early last week to mark the new gallery and gallery store spaces within the redeveloped arts precinct.
Ararat Rural City Council Mayor Paul Hooper said with the panels in place, it was possible to get a sense of how the new spaces would ultimately look.
“To date, there has been a lot of behind-thescenes work at the site, with partial demolition and underground works happening,” he said.
“It’s really exciting to see the building’s exterior is now taking shape.”
Councillors and project control group members toured the construction site earlier this month.
Cr Hooper said the tour provided an opportunity to inspect the historic town hall and performing arts centre mid-way through the 18-month construction project.
When complete in autumn 2018, the revamped arts precinct will include a larger art gallery, an improved performing arts centre foyer, box office and bar area, new café, more storage and a green room.
Cr Hooper said the project architect Williamsboag had drawn on community input overlaid with architectural drawings dating back as far as 1895.
“This is one of the region’s most recognisable buildings and while we have an eye to how it will be used into the future, we have been very careful to respect its history,” he said.
The Ararat Arts Precinct redevelopment has been funded via a partnership between the State Government, $5.2-million, the Federal Government’s National Stronger Regions Fund, $945,000, the regional community, $100,000, and Ararat Rural City Council.