Last Thursday Brisbane City Council held a consultation session for Wynnum residents to gather views on what community uses the old school site in Florence Street should be dedicated to. WynnumCentral went along to hear what the Council and local residents had to say (plus we have our own views and ideas as well – see below).
We were expecting a semi-formal presentation and ‘questions from the floor’, but it was nothing like this. A number of Council people were there to talk one-on-one with residents and many were taking notes. All residents were encouraged to put in expressions of interest for various groups and the Council made it plain that they had no predetermined ideas.
What was made clear was that the consultation was not about the use of the whole site. The school site has already been subdivided into the ‘community use’ component, which includes all of the buildings on the site, and a large area to the West of the site has already been designated for commercial use.
Our understanding is that a new and much larger Wynnum public library will be located in the commercial use zone. Council is a little tight lipped about what will be going into the commercial space. Our hope is that the development here is sympathetic to the community use component and takes full advantage of new 5-8 storey zoning in Wynnum Central.
Another concern is that the green space seems to be a fair bit smaller and narrower than we think most people would like to see. In this regard the current plan we understand does not adhere to Council’s own guidelines on green space in the Neighbourhood Plan.
PS You have until February 2014 to make submission to Brisbane City Council.
We took photos of all of the documentation, all of which you can see below. What are your thoughts?
The old school buildings are large enough to accommodate a variety of different groups and uses. We have an opportunity with this site to build something not only for community use by local residents, but also something that would be a drawcard for Wynnum and that would bring people into Wynnum from a much wider area than just the suburb.
Some community use buildings have become facilities that are used and then ‘locked up’ where rooms are used for various community groups that fulfil a need but do not necessarily draw people into Wynnum.
Our idea is the following… dedicate three maybe four small rooms as artist studios. Invite artists from around the country (maybe around the world) to apply for short residencies in Wynnum, maybe six months, and invite them to use the local area for inspiration. At the end of the residency of the three/four artists (these could be sculptors, fine or modern artists, photographers or many other types) they would put on an art exhibition in the school. The artists would also be obliged to have their studios open to the public for a certain number of days during the residency.
Wynnum already has a lot of art going on (it’s just a little hidden away), we just need to be a bit more ‘public’ about it. It’s also important that the residencies are not restricted purely to local artists – we need to focus on getting the best up and coming artists, regardless as to where they are from. Then Wynnum can get on the art tourism map!
This would not be instead of many other good ideas going into Council, as a matter of fact this project would complement most other ideas. Specifically this idea would work well with the current submission from the Wynnum & Districts Chamber of Commerce for use of the building, who several years ago also submitted a proposal for the school site to be used as public art project.
What do you think of the WynnumCentral idea?
Did you go to the consultation? If so, what did you think?