Draft hub’s ‘community feel’

Cr Matthew Kirwan with his children Sylvia and Eloise in the site''s surrounding parkland. 209813_04 Picture: GARY SISSONS

By Cam Lucadou-Wells

Much innovation is hidden in the just-released Keysborough South Community Hub draft design, according to a Greater Dandenong councillor.

The naturally lit building with copious wooden finishes will pay fitting homage to its bushy setting on Chapel and Villers roads, Cr Matthew Kirwan says.

From inside, its panoramic views will sweep across Tatterson Park’s natural woodlands.

The centre will include a kindergarten, child care, maternal and child health, play and community meeting and activity spaces.

Cr Kirwan says the long-awaited hub was one of his top priorities when he first ran for council election in 2012.

“I have been working closely with the architects in recent months to make sure this is a quality building that functionally responds to community needs but also has a great community feel.”

He said he argued for a community lounge – a place for catch-ups and small groups to informally meet without booking or hiring a meeting room.

The lounge has been tucked away from the foyer, to “avoid the doctor’s waiting room effect”.

“Community lounges that succeed create semi-private spaces for people to gather – no one likes being watched for a reception desk.”

The proposed community kitchen will also serve out to each activity area, the lounge and outdoor seated areas, Cr Kirwan says.

“This makes what could be an ordinary kitchen a true community kitchen.

“I saw this in good effect at the Saltwater Community Centre in Point Cook.”

For all his lobbying, Cr Kirwan sees room for improvement – or rather, rooms.

“I think there are too many small meeting rooms.

“One would be better changed to a maker’s space like what is being built into the new Springvale Community Centre.

“That would allow a wet area for arts and crafts activities.”

He also wishes for the lounge to add co-working spaces for professionals and small-business people, and for more than two large community rooms for Keysborough South’s ageing demographic.

“The community activity rooms will be used for playgroups, lifelong learning and library programs, functions, events, community group and club activities.

“I query if there is enough space.”

Building was expected to start by May 2021, Cr Kirwan said.

To have your say, email communityconsultation@cgd.vic.gov.au

Submissions are open until Friday 26 June, 5pm.


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