Car park plans revealed
By HUGH KEARNEY
MURWILLUMBAH will get a new multi-level car park, new library and vastly improved swimming pool facilities under a development master plan soon to go on public display.
Releasing the plan exclusively to the Daily News yesterday, Tweed Mayor Cr Warren Polglase said the $6.5-$7 million development would be the biggest capital works project undertaken by the shire for many years and was designed to keep pace with the town's expected continued growth.
Under the plan, Murwillumbah's much-talked-about parking problems could become a thing of the past if the multi-level car park capable of holding up to 327 cars goes ahead following the period of public exhibition. According to the plan, the car park will be built on two levels above the existing Civic Centre car park between the pool complex and the rear of Main Street businesses, including the Murwillumbah Hotel, Commonwealth Bank, Daily News and Town Motel.
The upper levels of the car park will have access from Queen Street and all levels will be linked by rampways.
The car park-pool redevelopment plan includes details of a new library to be built on the first floor of the new car park.
The library will be located at the eastern (cenotaph) end of the car park, behind the former State Colonial Bank premises.
While only a single-level facility, the new library will take up the full height of the top two levels of the car park.
Depending on which option is accepted, the car park will hold between 250 and 327 cars.
Mayor Polglase said one of the options being looked at to maximise space for the car park was the demolition of the existing CWA Hall on Queen Street and relocation to a new meeting rooms and facility to be built on the second level of the car park.
It is understood Council staff are negotiating with the CWA about the possible demolition of their premises, but a Council officer said this would only happen with the CWA's concurrence.
The CWA hall which also houses the Murwillumbah Community Health baby health clinic is built on council land.
Mayor Polglase said the provision of extra car parking for the town was vital and provided an ideal opportunity for the redevelopment of the swimming pool complex at the same time.
"There will be a lot of work and a lot of mess while we build the car park, so it made sense to fix the pool complex at the same time," Cr Polglase said.
Murwillumbah, he said, continued to grow, with more than 100 residential lots sold in the past two years and with the new industrial estate due to start after Christmas and the Boral timber flooring plant also in the wings.
"The pool is an important community facility and we need to keep it up to scratch for all the families moving to the town and for the young people," he said.
"We will put the plan on display and invite feedback and suggestions from the public because we want the best (facility) we can and we can only do it once."
The master plan will go on public display within the next three weeks for a period of public submissions. Cr Polglase said construction could begin in about 18 months.
MURWILLUMBAH'S War Memorial Swimming Pool is set for a major makeover at the same time as the development of the new multilevel car park.
The complex will undergo changes to almost every aspect, with major building, construc- tion and landscaping works planned.
The new work will include:
o?new pool administration and plant, kiosk, toilets, showers and change rooms.
o?new grandstand to seat 410
o?existing 50-metre Olympic pool to be refurbished and widened to eight lanes
o?a new circular diving pool to be built, 12 metres wide and four metres deep.
o?a 25-metre indoor heated training pool adjacent to the Queen St boundary
o?a redesigned infants', toddlers', learners' and children's leisure pool area
o?a hydrotherapy pool.
To fit in with the design of the planned new car park, access to the pool complex will be from the civic centre side with dedicated vehicle drop-off bay near the reception, opposite the war memorial cenotaph.
The present Olympic pool complex was officially opened on the October 20, 1962 by Shire President Clarrie Hall.
Mayor Polglase said the complex was one of the better regional swimming facilities, but work was needed to keep it in top shape.