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 scenario

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 further supports 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. A Community Hub for Drouin was a key action, with suggested integration of features including, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Library
  • Early childhood centre
  • Outdoor space
  • 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

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.

October 2020 Update

Architects engaged by Council have prepared initial floorplans/concepts and cost estimates for a number of potential community hub sites.

These concepts as well as a number of shortlisted potential locations were the subject of community and stakeholder consultation in June and July 2020. The feedback has provided important input into the potential community hub sites, the facilities and functions to be included and how their development can be staged.

The preferred location and key functionality for the Drouin Community Hub will be considered by Council following the upcoming Council elections.