A New City Hall For Geelong
The City of Greater Geelong council has announced that it has taken the first step in moving out of the circa 1855 Geelong Town Hall and starting the design process for a new building that will consolidate the organisation's operations in the city centre.
Our editor, Davina Montgomery, spoke to the Mayor of Geelong, Cr Bruce Harwood, about why the move is being made, what the process will be, the importance of getting the design right and where a new civic accommodation building might be located.
The commissioning of a new building to bring together all of the Council's central city operations under one roof was a key recommendation of the council administration period as a measure to release to forward pressure of high rental expenses. The new building would be funded through a combination of asset sales from the Council's portfolio of over 6,000 owned sites across the municipality and loans.
The Mayor was adamant that rates would not be part of the funding equation now or into the future.
As has long been hoped for, the building a new publicly-owned civic building for the Council in the city centre would mean the neighbouring Geelong Gallery could expand into the historic building. The Gallery would be in an enviable position to attract even high profile international exhibitions on the back of the success of hosting The Archibald national tour and securing the Sidney Nolan exhibition in 2019.
It would also mean that a significant proportion of the Gallery's collection - 90 per cent of which is currently held in storage - could be finally on show at one time.