The Royal Far West children's charity is set for a $35 million redevelopment of part of its Manly campus, with a new proposal for a Centre for Child Health and Learning, on the site of the 'Elsie Hill' building on Wentworth St (next door to the Manly Community Centre).
The organisation urgently needs to expand and modernise its premises to continue helping country kids with their medical and educational needs.
CEO Lindsay Cane said the charity wanted to build something Manly "would be proud of". "We want a state-of-the-art building," Ms Cane said. "Somewhere where people from the bush feel comfortable and safe and where our clinicians can do their job."
The existing red brick building, which has little obvious architectural merit, lies between RFW's Drummond House and the Manly Community Centre.
It will be transformed into a "state-of-the-art" seven storey, six level building, which will house a fully integrated school, purpose-built clinical consultation rooms, open space and play areas. It will link to Drummond House, the RFW's accommodation centre, through its lower stories.
A DA for the building will be submitted in December after public consultation.
RFW Operations Director Kevin Bone said the success of the plan depends on the fund-raising campaign. He said the charity was hoping for contributions from both the state and federal governments, as well as members of the community. If the plan is successful, Mr Bone said the organisation would then focus on its "vision" to develop the rest of the campus as a "hub" for education, learning and well-being. He said engaging with the community and taking community ideas on board was crucial for the success of the redevelopment plan.
Plans to upgrade the total site, which fronts Wentworth St, South Steyne and Victoria Pde, where first launched early last year. But that plan, which involved selling off beachfront land for a new hotel, apartments and shops, met with fierce community opposition. Now the charity has taken community wishes on board and scaled back its redevelopment plans.
Community Information Sessions
Community information sessions will start this week, with the project's architect, town planner and project manager taking part in "open forum" meetings.
Sessions will be held at the RFW Medical Centre, South Steyne, on Wednesday (Nov 5) from 4 to 7pm; Thursday (Nov 6) from 6 to 8pm; Thursday (Nov 13) 10 - 1pm and Friday (Nov 14) from 1 - 4pm. It is not necessary to book.
For more information go to www.rfwredevelopment.org.au or download the Development's details below.
Candy Bingham, Manly Ward Councillor on Northern Beaches Council. Background in marketing, public relations and community engagement. Author of five business books. Former Lady Mayoress of Sydney. Aka Candy Tymson.