Community Inspects Arts Centre Building Progress

Published on 21 November 2017

Progress at the West Gippsland Arts Centre upgrade project has been celebrated with a site visit and walk through tour by Project Reference Group (PRG) members.

Project Manager Tristan Hennesey and Arts Centre Manager Rob Robson, along with the head contractor, Building Engineering’s representative Matthew Behsmann, led the group around the site to see key highlights of works to date.

Mayor of Baw Baw Shire Councillor Joe Gauci said with all the recent works, we are now able to get a good sense of the new spaces being created.

“So far, most the major construction works have taken place inside the walls of the historic building, much of it unintentionally hidden from view. The current balcony works really show the transformation taking shape, and we are so excited to see it all progressing so well”, said the Mayor.

Recent milestone works have seen large cranes install several new steel framing elements providing structures for the new café, entry foyer, loading dock extension and main steel truss on the eastern side.

The core shaft for the new lift is also taking shape, and when finished will offer much improved accessibility between all levels of the building.

Some new areas are now roofed and windows are beginning to be installed. New wiring, air ducting, plumbing and new fire sprinkler systems throughout are also very evident at this stage.

High level work in the auditorium in readiness for the next stage of installation of the balcony seating area was a highlight of the tour.

West Ward Councillor Jessica O’Donnell, who accompanied the reference group said she felt the perspective from this raised level really highlights one of the key objectives to open the building up to Civic Park.

“I was very excited to see the way this project links the building so well to our beautiful Civic Park and to the rest of town with views right out to Mt Worth.” said Cr O’Donnell.

The transformation of the iconic Warragul landmark continues with the new upper foyer levels next to have their floors laid and the structure framed, roofed and enclosed.

Thanks to the work of the Arts and Cultural Advisory Committee, the project will also be taking advantage of the opportunity to present an innovative outdoor art exhibition.

Several local artists have submitted art work to be reproduced on screens which will line the site fence along Civic Park in the coming weeks, providing a vibrant display.

Despite recent wet weather and some unexpected delays, the Arts Centre is still on track to reopen in mid-2018.

Residents are encouraged to keep up with progress by watching regular update videos at and on the West Gippsland Arts Centre’s Facebook page.

Images: PRG members walk through and inspect progress at the WGAC upgrade project.