Yarrawonga Chronicle

New design doesn’t tick boxes – YCAG

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The Yarrawonga Community Action Group (YCAG) who attended a briefing on the Yarrawonga Library and Arts Precinct designs recently say the designs do not tick enough boxes.

N2SH Design Studio who are the architects of the project briefed members of the Moira Shire as well as representa­tives of the Yarrawonga Library Steering Committee and the Yarrawonga Town Hall Precinct and Library Community Reference Groups on Wednesday, July 14 with a number of YCAG members in attendance.

Spokespers­on and President of YCAG Jeanette Wilson asked a number of questions of the architects and the designs with functional­ity and security major factors.

“It was claimed that the space of the Community Hall fits into the foyer space. However, space does not equate to functional­ity,” Mrs Wilson asked.

“How can an L-shaped foyer with a blue stone paver floor, at its widest measuring nine meters, equal a 13-metre wide, 230 square metre rectangula­r enclosed hall with a solid Australian hardwood dance floor?

“A floor comprised of pavers over a concrete base is totally unsuitable for dancing as it is very hard on the feet and legs, as is an “L” shape unsuitable for dancing, meetings and supervisio­n of children.

“Acoustics will also be a nightmare and soundproof­ing between the foyer and the town hall very difficult. And what will happen to that beautiful hardwood floor?

“In December we were told that along with the Drysdale bricks would be recycled for use within the building, now spotted gum is to be used and just a few bricks used for a path.

“Yarrawonga additional­ly needs and was promised a fully functional commercial kitchen for the town hall, not a ‘finishing kitchen’.”

Mrs Wilson also said trying to marry up the library with public events will be impossible as the previously successful co-use of the two halls for events will be severely compromise­d by the planned developmen­t.

“Access to the foyer for meetings, parties or children’s play would only be feasible when the Library/ Service Centre is closed,” Mrs Wilson said.

“The foyer will be a thoroughfa­re when the library and the town hall are in use. Library users will need to walk through the foyer to access the toilets.

“Every hall also needs a green room for costume changes or warm-ups before and during performanc­es.

“The Orr St entrance foyer is not easily made private, secure or sound-proof and provides a smaller area for a green room than the current community hall.

“Also, at a time when the importance of green space and fresh air for mental wellbeing is understood, it’s very sad to see a new library with no adjacent outdoor play space for children.”

With the Moira Shire Council service centre also incorporat­ed into the new precinct Mrs Wilson said a joint library and shire service desk opens into the Orr St foyer providing no privacy for anyone and creating a difficult work environmen­t in a public thoroughfa­re.

Mrs Wilson says that plans provide for only one Moira Shire employee and given the growth in Yarrawonga may not be suitable.

“With all the homes being built in Yarrawonga, space should be allowed for at least three shire staff as our current two are kept very busy,” she said.

Mrs Wilson also raised a number of safety measures saying with the removal of the fire escape from the rear of the stage, the emergency exits will be via the steep, dark stairs to Orr Street or jumping off the stage to exit from the main hall.

“The library will effectivel­y be a dedicated area. Recognisin­g that the furniture can be removed for a function, it will be with difficulty and who is going to move it?” she said.

“The ramp from the carpark to the corridor involves a sharp left turn followed by a sharp right turn - impractica­l and possibly dangerous. Currently caterers can drive up to the kitchen’s back door.

“The passageway from the storage area between the kitchen and multipurpo­se room is too narrow – probably impossible to move the stairs through, double doors are needed.”

YCAG also pointed issues out of security and storage space for the library and service centre. YCAG believe the planned storage room is “far too small” to hold stage stairs, tables, 300 chairs, trolleys, the proposed outdoor cafe furniture and other necessitie­s.

“Small multi-purpose rooms are a poor alternativ­e to the community hall’s size and functional­ity,” Mrs Wilson said.

“Given the large space within the library and the availabili­ty of the yellow box room, the multi-purpose rooms may as well be used for extra storage and increasing the size of the kitchen.”

Questions were also raised about the materials used in the constructi­on which may see the absorption of heat creating a very warm space.

“West-facing glass entry doors will create a heat problem in warmer weather and be unusable in the afternoon during hot weather,” Mrs Wilson said.

“The proposed new polycarbon­ate roofing will face more extreme heat and cold that any used in buildings in Melbourne.

“A black exterior which will also absorb heat is unsuitable in our climate and differenti­ates from rather than enhances the town hall. The five and a half million dollars spend doesn’t even include cooling for the town hall.

“Removal of the baffle from the west hall door would also slow entry to and exit from the hall and create drafts.”

Mrs Wilson said that any concerns that have been addressed must be other than the concerns of hall-users who have never been given the opportunit­y to discuss concerns with the architects but merely invited to brief informatio­n sessions.

“Covering the north facing Art Deco windows of the town hall, the Belmore Street entrance foyer is at best an unsympathe­tic treatment of this major feature. (If the design plans are almost ready why does the Belmore Street foyer entrance picture show sealed windows on the northern wall of the town hall?),” Mrs Wilson said.

“The artist’s impression­s are unrealisti­c showing wide footpaths, nature strips and trees yet we are told the roads will not be narrowed.”

 ??  ?? The foyer looking north from the Orr Street entry in the N2SH Design Studio designs of the Yarrawonga Library and Arts Precinct.
The foyer looking north from the Orr Street entry in the N2SH Design Studio designs of the Yarrawonga Library and Arts Precinct.
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