Civic space upgrade needed, says mayor
CITY of Rockingham Mayor Barry Sammels has justified spending $745,000 upgrading council grounds due to a lack of patronage in the area.
Age and maintenance were also factors.
The upgrade was approved at the City’s last meeting on September 26 before the council elections.
“The City Square and Civic Plaza were constructed over 25 years ago,” Mr Sammels said.
“The current maintenance burden, primarily due to the ongoing damage caused by the large mature specimen trees, was factored into the decision to upgrade at this time.
“The upgrade to the City Square and the Civic Plaza will revitalise important community and civic spaces which no longer offer a diverse community function, as shown by the lack of current patronage.”
The City Square design will integrate a variety of new seating options, paving, lighting and planting within raised garden beds.
It is intended to create an “element of surprise” by redefining the entrance to the council administration buildings.
It will have landscape treatments that enhance the existing colonnade by including new flowering trees, groundcover planting, paved surfaces and an upgrade to the water fountain surround.
The design phase of the project cost $45,000, with the actual works projected to cost $700,000.
Mr Sammels disagreed that these costs were excessive.
“The primary purpose of the proposed improvement works is not simply to add more seats, paving and plantings,” he said.
“The improvement works include demolition, earthworks, drainage upgrades, enhanced public lighting, retaining walls and improved universal access, as well as new paving, additional planting and contemporary seating and furniture upgrades.
The project will progress to the detailed design phase.
An artist’s impression of the modernised City Square and (below) an aerial view of the areas as they are now.