With the ceremonial sod turned, the area around the old Gerringong School of Arts (opposite Cronin’s Liquor) is now a construction site for the long awaited Gerringong Library & Museum (GLaM) project.
“This fantastic project is a great collaboration between Council and the Gerringong Historical Society, made possible with support from the State and Federal governments,” said Mayor Mark Honey.
It was the first time the new Member for Gilmore, Fiona Phillips, had participated in a sod turning, and she said she was delighted with what it was.
“I mentioned in my maiden speech how important libraries are in our democracy.
“Preserving local stories is so important for people in our communities, so to have the Library and the Museum together is a great thing.”
Director of the lead contractor Momentum Built, Paul Boyd, is looking forward to the work starting.
“We love the challenges of jobs like this, where we are incorporating the old with the new. It’s exciting and will look really good once it is finished.
“It is also very satisfying to build something that will mean so much to people.”
Construction of the GLaM is due to be completed in the first half of next year. The complex is expected to be open by this time next year, after the Library and Museum have had time to settle into their new premises.
The $3.2m project involves building a new Library behind the historic School of Arts on Blackwood Street, which will be restored and converted to house the Museum.
The Library and Museum buildings will share a foyer and gallery space, as well as meeting rooms, kitchen and amenities.
The School of Arts will be restored with roof sheeting and galvanised wall cladding to be replaced and repaired.
The Library will feature corrugated steel walls, timber cladding and corrugated steel roofing, and will use photovoltaics for its power.
The GLaM will include decking and paving, with landscaping of trees and bushes.
The car park will include the existing 17 off-street spaces and an additional 20 spaces at the back of the building.
The building and car park will all be fully accessible.
One of the first activities will be the digging up of the foundation for the previous museum building, which was removed some time ago.
Care will be taken to locate and extract a time capsule, which was deposited in the foundation 50 years ago