WORKS are progressing at the $14.53 million Port of Sale Cultural Hub and Precinct project.
The cultural hub, to be known as The Wellington Centre, and the Port of Sale precinct are being redeveloped to create a new art gallery, library, visitor centre, council chamber and café along with surrounding parklands.
From the exterior on the port side of the building, works are underway with concrete poured to prepare the new southern entrance. The overhanging concrete panel facades facing the port have been cut back, which will open up views of the Port of Sale from the new library, visitor centre and café areas and bring significant light into the building.
Residents and visitors may have noticed a large crane on site over the past few weeks with the eastern courtyard roof trusses going in complete, over what will be a fully enclosed two-storey, feature art gallery as part of the Gippsland Art Gallery. The western courtyard will also be enclosed to form a two-storey, roofed library atrium. The western courtyard floor has been cut through making way for new amphitheatre-style stairs from the lower ground level to be constructed. These stairs and bleachers, along with a new lift, will lead to the library and visitor centre areas from the new lower level entrance of the building.
Internal wall framing and the beginning of plastering has the new zones and work areas taking shape throughout the building. A variety of trades including electrical, mechanical, hydraulic and communications services are also on site.
Foster St roadworks, improved pedestrian access and Canal Rd works to improve parking and access for car and recreational vehicles are almost complete, with planting remaining. Desailly St is now closed to traffic south of the highway and will be replaced with a pedestrian promenade and forecourt linking the new Wellington Centre and The Wedge entertainment centre.
Park St bridge replacement works are in progress, with detours in place for residents, visitors and boaters, and is due for completion mid-year. The single lane bridge is being replaced with two lanes and a pedestrian bridge. The Sale Skate Park was closed to users on February 6, and construction on the new and improved facilities began immediately. Works are currently on track for the reopening of the skate park before winter.
Wellington Shire mayor Carolyn Crossley said it was fantastic to see the transformation of the old building and surrounds taking shape.
“There is still a lot of work to be done and I can’t wait to see the finished results and see the centre buzzing with people utilising the great facilities and open spaces,” she said.