Plans close to reality for centre

THE prospect of a new multimillion-dollar community centre for Griffith Neighbourhood House is looking like a real possibility. 

Griffith Neighbourhood House co-ordinator, Barbara Penninga, has high hopes that state government funding will come through, which would also mean a much-needed Headspace youth mental health centre could move in.

In the coming weeks Ms Penninga and business consultants will meet with Griffith City Council and the Lands Department to discuss the estimated $4 million redevelopment of the site.

“We are going to meet with them to see if our current plan will work,” she said. “The idea is

to have it shovel-ready, then go back to the relevant departments and ask for the funding. Mental health minister Kevin Humphries is aware of the plans, and is supportive.

“It has been a long process but we need to get it right.

“Local services used our offices and our meeting room 910 times last year and that’s only services, not counting individual clients.”

Ms Penninga said the old community service facility located on Benerembah Street had seen better days.

“This current building will need to be bulldozed and so will the preschool next door.

The $4 million includes clearing the site and setting up,” she said.

Plans for the new building include a spacious reception, internet cafe and child play area, commercial kitchen, 17 office spaces, showers and a separate Headspace area, with its own access.

The new community hub would also boast two meeting rooms, a third meeting room/cafe space with an outdoor eatery attached.

Ms Penninga said provisions had also been made for the Carevan and a vegetable garden, a covered and paved courtyard area with tiered seating and plenty of parking had been added.

“It will be constructed so that in the future we can build up if need be,” she said. “We have to

have a 20-year plan – that’s why we have incorporated things like an option for a lift in these plans.”

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