The $14.53 million redevelopment works are progressing well at the Port of Sale precinct and the new Wellington Centre building which will be home to the Gippsland Art Gallery, Sale Library, Sale Visitor Centre, the new Dock 70 Café, Council chamber and community meeting spaces. The project is on track for completion by the end of the year.
External works to the former Council civic centre building, now to be known as the Wellington Centre, include construction of a new southern entrance on the Port side of the building. This entrance, via amphitheatre-style stairs, will lead up into the eastern library atrium, one of two new double storey atriums being constructed in the former open-air courtyards.
The courtyards have both been covered with saw tooth roofs and highlight windows to create two huge, light-filled atrium spaces as central features to the new art gallery and library areas. Curved ceilings and feature timber floors utilising local Gippsland timber will complete these atriums
Framing for the atriums’ curved ceilings is complete and plaster sheeting of the ceilings has commenced giving perspective to the size of the new atriums. Construction of the atrium timber floors will come next followed by the amphitheatre stairs leading from the new lower car park level Port entrance up to the Foster Street level.
Hydraulic, mechanical, electrical and communication services are roughed in ready for final equipment fit off and internal wall framing and plastering is nearing completion for the Foster Street and upper levels. The new lift connecting all three levels is programmed for installation over the coming weeks.
Between the new Wellington Centre and The Wedge entertainment centre, the former southern end of Desailly Street is taking shape as a new pedestrian promenade with Aboriginal cultural features, a highlight of the precinct project.
In the western section of the Port precinct, with skatepark and multi-court works complete, works have now commenced on the installation of barbeque shelters. Climbing nets will follow to complete the multi-age play space.
The skatepark area is now fully connected to surrounding footpath and shared pathway networks by new access pathways from all directions meaning easier access for community members to view the hundreds of skatepark users enjoying the new facilities.
A number of road improvement projects, funded through the Australian Government’s Roads to Recovery Program, are being undertaken concurrently with The Port redevelopment and Wellington Centre construction works.
Roadworks and improved pedestrian access works on Foster Street are complete. Canal Road kerb works and parking improvements are almost complete with a final asphalt re-sheet and installation of pedestrian crossings to be finalised later in the year along with shared pathway linkages.
The single lane Park Street bridge is being replaced with a dual lane and pedestrian lane bridge which will open up access to car parking and boating facilities on the southern side of the Sale Canal. These works should be complete in the next month, with detours remaining in place for residents, visitors and boaters.
The Port of Sale redevelopment project has been made possible by significant funding contributions from the Australian Government’s National Stronger Regions Fund, the Victorian Government’s Regional Growth Fund and Living Libraries Infrastructure Program, The John Leslie Foundation and Wellington Shire Council.