A VISION to transform the old Brierly Recreation Reserve into a multi-purpose community hub costing up to $7 million moved another step closer to reality after Warrnambool City Council endorsed a feasibility study.
It reinforces an earlier masterplan which showed major gaps in community services and suitable facilities in the rapidly-expanding north-east residential zone.
The proposed hub would cater for health, early childhood services, recreation, arts, culture and community meetings while sports facilities would be retained.
It would be managed by the council in conjunction with the community.
So far $40,000 has been spent on preparing a masterplan and a further $60,000 has been allocated in the council budget to begin some recommendations from the feasibility study.
City community development manager Vicky Mason told the council the community wanted a safe, welcoming centre.
“A concept design estimates $7 million, but this is a very first-level concept which needs more refinement,” she said.
“There is potential for public-private partnership funding. We will apply for more state government funds.”
Cr Rob Askew suggested the project could be done in stages.
“We need to make sure we get it right and get the facilities the community needs,” he said.
Cr Kylie Gaston said the council and community was fortunate to have the reserve available. “This is only the beginning, ” she said.
Cr Jacinta Ermacora said 140 people helped prepare the masterplan.
“Residents are planning for their own future with a neighbourhood or up to 5000 people,” she said.
Cr Peter Hulin suggested the council’s children’s services centre on Swan Reserve be eventually moved to Brierly.