$7 million community centre set for Wollert

WORK on a new Wollert East Community Centre has been given the green light after the City of Whittlesea awarded a tender for its construction at last month’s council meeting.

The $7,253,964 project will be supported and delivered by the Victorian School Building Authority, VSBA, as part of a development agreement with council.

The centre was packaged as part of a larger Department of Education and Training, DET, tender bundle of five government schools.

The centre – which will have three kindergarten rooms, as well as community and allied health service facilities as part of a hub with planned primary and secondary schools – is due to be completed by October 2021, with the kindergarten set to open in January 2022.

A council report found early delivery of the community facility in a new residential development like Wollert East had several benefits, including reducing social isolation, promoting social connection, and providing parents with children in both primary school and kindergarten an easy option for drop-off and pickup.

Council chair administrator Lydia Wilson said having the centre as part of an integrated community hub alongside primary and secondary schools was ‘a great model and outcome for local families’.

She said packaging the tender with other DET projects had saved council money.

“[The tender for the Wollert East Community Centre was] essentially a very important joint project with the education department, with the obvious cost-benefits and efficiencies associated with joint procurement,” she said.

“This particular tender is going to enable the delivery of an important community facility to support new residential development in Wollert East.

“The community facility will comprise a range of key family support services including pre-school, maternal and child health, together with meeting spaces and other relevant community-support components, which will be determined through the development phase.”

The project received $2,750,000 from the State Government through its Building Blocks Capacity Grants program.
Administrator Bruce Billson said it was terrific to receive the State Government contribution towards this project.

“It’s a great collaboration of the State Government, local government and the developers through their contribution, and the beneficiary is the local community,” he said.

“To see a primary school, a secondary school, a pre-school and community facilities coming together to service that Wollert community, it’s a really positive collaboration.

“I’m really optimistic about what this facility will mean for the Wollert community.”