Drouin Community Hub

Background

The need for Community Hubs, particularly in Drouin, was identified as a key community priority in the development of the Baw Baw Shire Council Plan 2017-21.

Drouin’s population grew by 27 per cent between the 2011 and 2016 census dates, and Baw Baw Shire is Victoria’s third fastest growing regional centre. Social infrastructure has not matched this rate of growth and community engagement has identified a lack of spaces where people and groups can meet and hold events in Drouin.

Current situation

Drouin has a higher proportion of disengaged young people and a higher rate of migration than other communities within the shire. Drouin’s anticipated growth will further emphasise the need for a community gathering place as new residents move to the town and seek to make meaningful connections.

During 2019, Council finalised the Community Hub Strategy, co-designed with the community. Possible features for a Community Hub include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Library
  • Early childhood centre
  • Sporting facilities
  • Arts and culture
  • Community meeting space
  • Youth programs

Initial community feedback established that the Community Hub should be an inclusive, multi-use facility with a diverse offering of services and activities. It could be a place that residents can source information and access health services, youth services and aged care. Council considers Community Hubs important social infrastructure vital to the ongoing well-being of its residents.

December 2019 Update

Following the codesign process, Capire Consulting Group prepared the Community Hubs Strategy 2019-2024. The Community Hubs Strategy has two main parts:

On 10 July 2019, Council at its Ordinary meeting adopted the Community Hubs Strategy as presented.

As a result of the workshops from the Community Hubs Strategy, a high-level design intent that includes design principals, functional requirements and spatial relationships was established. The individual functions identified through the codesign process have translated into functional requirements.  

Council officers undertook a spatial planning exercise based on the identified functional requirements and relevant standards/best practice. In order to gain better understanding of the spatial requirements and service provisions in a hub, Council Officers visited neighbouring Council to view similar hubs and to learn about experiences faced. The hubs visited were :

  • Moe Service Centre & Frank Bartlett Memorial Library (Latrobe City Council)
  • Emerald Community Hub (Cardinia Shire Council)
  • Selandra Community Hub (City Of Casey)

Council is currently evaluating fee proposals for architects to undertake some initial floorplans/concepts for a number of potential community hub sites. It is anticipated the architects will be appointed during December and that design works will commence early in January 2020.

At this stage, it is planned that Council will consider these concepts in February/March and put them out for public feedback.