SIX FIGURES: Work on a $750,000 expansion of the Banana Shire Community Resource Centre will soon commence.Picture: Cameron McCrohon
SIX FIGURES: Work on a $750,000 expansion of the Banana Shire Community Resource Centre will soon commence.Picture: Cameron McCrohon

750K UPGRADE: Community centre gets expansion

A MUCH-NEEDED $750,000 expansion of the Biloela Community Resource Centre is estimated to begin in February 2020, according to Banana Shire Council.

CRC administration officer Donna Schluter said she and the CRC team were extremely grateful to the Federal Government for funding the much-needed expansion.

"This expansion will allow more visits from allied health services who hire rooms at the CRC to work with disabled people in the Banana Shire," Ms Schluter said.

"Our collection of resources continues to grow and with that we need more space.

"Being able to offer that space allows them to come practise, see people with a disability in our community - and room hire in Biloela is not easy to come by."

The expansion is under the design plans of architecture firm Thomson Adsett and is fully funded by the Federal Government thanks to a pre-election promise from the office of Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd.

Plans to expand the CRC were first put into motion back in 2016 when CRC identified issues of concern with Banana Shire Council.

These included limited storage space, inadequacy of work and therapy space and difficulties associated with traffic/resource flow through the building.

"The demand for therapy services and resources has grown to a point where the CRC must expand its workforce and space in order to meet the need," Banana Shire Council Mayor Nev Ferrier said.

"The reconfiguration of the existing workspace will improve work environment to ensure efficiency, security and reduce overcrowding."

In September 2016, Banana Shire Council approached Thomson Adsett to work with CRC staff to address design issues in the CRC interior space to improve storage, workspace and flow of people and resources in the CRC

"In our 2017-18 budget funding was set aside to investigate possible solutions, and in April 2018 Banana Shire Council committed to support the extension project with $100,000 in the development application," Cr Ferrier said.

The finalised design plans and overall costings for the expansion were sent to Banana Shire Council by Thomson Adsett in October last year.

"CRC staff have been integral to the process, working with council, the director of corporate and community services and manager of administration and community services since 2016," Cr Ferrier said.

"Additionally, the CRC extension project aims to increase the number of full-time, part-time and casual therapists employed to provide therapy services."

Construction of the expansion is estimated to finish in July next year.