Uxbridge centre design finalised
Plans to redevelop Uxbridge Creative Centre are starting to take shape.
Centre manager Tony Morgan says a design concept has now been finished, allowing the project which has been in the pipeline since 2010 to move forward.
"Those agreed ideas about what the community wanted in the design, what we wanted and what the local board wanted have been put into some sort of visual shape," he says.
"If we can realise this design we will have done a major thing.
"The community of Howick will end up with an international standard community arts centre."
The next step for the $6.5 million project is to come up with a more detailed design and complete a tender process.
"This is just a broad concept, what an architect now has to do is actually make that into drawings that the builder can quote on.
"Instead of blocks and spaces there will be all the absolute details - the actual sizes, the materials that are being used right down to the plumbing and electrical."
Mr Morgan says the redeveloped centre will become the heart of Howick's arts precinct.
"With the library, with Uxbridge, with the whare and the garden it is a huge resource for the community and I think it will become increasingly important with time."
At the moment travelling exhibitions from museums or art galleries don't consider Uxbridge but with purpose-built galleries that will change, he says.
"With a gallery like this we will be able to show historic work and more significant work by distinguished artists."
He says the purpose-built galleries, studios and performing arts space will be an incredible boost to the already thriving art community.
The detailed design should take until at least June to complete, with building work starting late this year.
Howick Local Board arts portfolio leader Adele White says completing the design concept is a significant step in the project.
"It feels like the redevelopment has been a long time coming and it is exciting to see that we are moving toward the home run."