KNOCKING IT DOWN: The council's old administration building in Maryborough will be demolished and a new one built in town after a council vote at their January meeting.
KNOCKING IT DOWN: The council's old administration building in Maryborough will be demolished and a new one built in town after a council vote at their January meeting. Blake Antrobus

Rebuilding M'boro's heart: Admin centre to be demolished

IT COULD be the most ambitious move the council has made in the Heritage City in years.

After months of deliberating over its fate, the council's 50-year-old Kent St administration building will be demolished and a new home for council staff will be built in the Maryborough CBD.

Councillors unanimously approved the decision at yesterday's council meeting.

The move could breathe new life into the Heritage City's business precinct and provide a windfall for struggling shop-fronts within the CBD.

The decision was brought to the council after a feasibility report identified major structural issues with the building.

Deputy Mayor Darren Everard said the council would seek tenders on the demolition of the building, and said it was time to "plan for the future” of the administration hub in the CBD.

"It's come out of necessity,” Cr Everard said.

"The building has too many issues and the costs to repair would be significant.

"But the building that will be constructed will be a building to take the region into the future.”

A new location for the new administration building has not been chosen.

Cr Everard said the wish of the council was to keep the building in the CBD area and to make it easier for people to access.

"It's important from an economic point of view, staff supporting local businesses,” he said.

Documents from Keystone Architects, who were hired by the council to undertake a feasibility report into the building's future, reveal the construction of a new building would be "more expensive” than a partial demolition.

However, the documents claim a new building represents "the best long-term value”.

"A new building will have a longer life and be more flexible than a refurbishment of the existing building,” the documents claim.

"It will... have more street appeal and be a proper civic building befitting the region's council.”

The same report revealed the main access ramp was not compliant with council codes and there were problems with sanitary plumbing inside the building.

Estimated costs to refurbish the building stand about $4.3 million, while the demolition and rebuilding options are over $6.8 million.

Staff were moved to a temporary office on Adelaide St after major issues, including asbestos, electrical problems and structural deficiencies were detected during air-conditioning work in December 2017.



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