The Civic Centre site is strategically located within the municipality’s main business centre of Spit Junction and is surrounded by retail, commercial and residential land uses.
The site contains Mosman Square, the Council Administration and Chambers, Seniors’ Centre, Meals-on-Wheels distribution, Library, Youth centre, the Village Green, public parking off The Crescent, and a number of retail and residential tenancies along Military Road and Library Walk.
On 4 March 2014, Council resolved to undertake an analysis of the capability of the Mosman Civic Centre site to provide services and facilities to meet the needs of the Mosman community now and in the future.
In June 2014, architectural consultants HBO+EMTB were engaged to undertake this work. Councillor Workshops were held on 7 July, 10 September, 23 October and 25 November 2014 to inform this project. Interviews with Council’s Executive Team and Managers were also held.
Findings of the Opportunities and Needs Analysis
Overall, the Opportunities and Needs Analysis undertaken by HBO+EMTB found that:
1. There are considerable opportunities to improve and activate the public domain space on the Civic Centre site with cafes, restaurants and walkways, and to provide a substantial increase in car parking underground.
2. There are opportunities to improve the administration building, library and art gallery. Currently these facilities do not meet Council’s operational requirements in that buildings are inefficiently planned and fail to meet community expectations.
3. The library is a highly utilised community facility receiving in excess of 200,000 visitations per annum, however it is at maximum capacity and going forward will not meet population based benchmark standards for service levels developed by the State Library of NSW.
4. The administration building endeavours to present as a multipurpose facility incorporating Seniors’ and Meals on Wheels functions and general administration, but fails to deliver the standard of accommodation commensurate with diverse user group expectations.
5. The efficiency and functionality of the Art Gallery would be significantly enhanced if the existing floor area was provided on a single level. However whether the gallery expands to the recommended standard of Museum and Galleries NSW is directly related to the level of investment the community is prepared to make in this facility.
Strategies for the future location of services
With an overall area of approximately 7,773m2, and access from Military and Myahgah Roads and The Crescent, the site has considerable potential for redevelopment to meet the identified needs for improvements in community facilities and the public domain.
There are several opportunities open to Council:
• In the short and medium term, Council could maintain the status quo (i.e. do nothing) or have minor intervention in the relocation of functions within existing buildings. However the inadequacies of the existing buildings and cost of refurbishment (with no opportunity created within the site to fully fund this cost), needs to be a consideration.
• In the longer term, Council could seek to redevelop its land holdings to provide improved community facilities including a new library, art gallery, community facilities, public domain improvements, administration offices and additional public car parking. The development cost could be funded by residential/retail development on part of the site. It is this strategy that Council is considering and seeking community feedback on.