A proposed new Glen Waverley precinct
During July and August 2023, Monash Council invited community feedback on a proposal to build a new library and community hub on Council’s existing Glen Waverley library site.
We heard from over 600 people via our Shape Monash engagement platform, and 800 residents from across Monash via a phone survey. This provided close to 1,500 pieces of community feedback for Council to consider. Thank you to everyone who took the time to provide their thoughts.
At their meeting in September, Councillors resolved to continue work on the project that was presented to the community. This work will include:
- Reviewing the design in response to feedback received in the consultation, ensuring community events spaces and meeting spaces are flexible and highly configurable for a range of purposes, reviewing and revising the design so the form and architectural features are simplified and sympathetic to the existing Harry Seidler designed Civic Centre building, and seeking opportunities for increased landscaping and greenery and maximising opportunities for canopy trees and water sensitive urban design.
- Assessing opportunities within the current design to reduce costs while maintaining the functions that were outlined to the community during consultation.
What was included in the proposal?
The design proposed two levels of library and a third level of office with new multipurpose community events and meeting spaces at ground level and a direct connection to Council's Civic Centre.
It will be surrounded by landscaped gardens and an open and inviting plaza where our community can gather.
A new modern library for Glen Waverley
The existing Glen Waverley library is more than 50 years old and needs replacement. It is too small and no longer meets the needs and expectations of our community. For example, after school there is insufficient space for kids accessing the library to study and do their homework – with kids having to sit on the floor. This impacts other library users as well.
Libraries serve communities in different ways than they did 50 years ago. They are no longer places to only borrow a book. They are ‘community living rooms’ where people come together to share experiences, learn, be entertained, access online resources, study, hear talks and presentations, access the latest news, share a coffee with friends and take part in fun and stimulating children’s activities.
We want to create one of Victoria’s best municipal libraries. The proposed new library is four times the current library space and will be a vibrant mix of noisy and quiet areas – just like the best modern libraries.
New community event and meeting spaces
Complementing the expanded library space will be new community events and meeting spaces. Council does not have appropriate spaces for larger indoor community events and pays to rent larger spaces from other organisations.
It is proposed to create a large multipurpose community space which is both flexible and highly configurable to provide for a variety of event formats which can be used by our community. From large 500 person seated events to smaller meetings of 20 to 50 people, this will be a space which will offer fit for purpose meeting places for community groups and residents from across Monash.
Additional office space
The project includes some additional office space for Council’s Glen Waverley-based employees who do not fit into the existing Civic Centre. For more than 15 years, Council has had to rent space in the adjacent Ibis building for these employees. This costs the community more than $400,000 in rent each year and it makes sense to relocate these staff to a Council owned facility.
The gross floor area proposed includes:
- 4290 sqm of library (four times the current size) including a children’s area with an activity space, parents’ room, a youth area and meeting rooms for library users
- 1010 sqm of community events and meeting space which is flexible and highly configurable to cater for both large events and small meetings
- 1620 sqm of office space and meeting rooms (removing the need for Council to rent additional office space currently costing over $400,000 per year
- 250 car spaces plus secure bike storage.
In proceeding, Council reiterated its previous resolution that the cost of the project will be entirely funded through:
- the compensation to be paid to Council by the State Government for its compulsory acquisition of Council land in Glen Waverley for the Suburban Rail Loop project
- the sale of Council's Central Cark Park in Glen Waverley.
Any surplus funds remaining from the land sales after project costs will be allocated to a reserve for the acquisition of public open space.
The Glen Waverley Civic Precinct is located off Kingsway, adjacent to the Monash Civic Centre at 293 Springvale Road and includes the current Glen Waverley library.
Planning for the Glen Waverley Civic Precinct Project was awarded to ARM Architecture, who prepared schematic designs for Council.
ARM Architecture revisited the feasibility study for the project, completed in 2020, which evaluated the ability of the Civic Precinct site (adjacent to the Civic Centre) to be redeveloped. The redevelopment includes a multi-purpose building containing a library, community meeting spaces, a large hall for hosting citizenship ceremonies (among other uses), Council office space for our Glen Waverley based staff (to replace leased office space), improved public open space and underground car parking.
The study addressed issues including:
- the current dated condition of the Glen Waverley library (constructed in 1976 and nearing the end of useful life). Like many older buildings the library has asbestos which is being managed.
- the lack of dedicated space for civic events and large gatherings within the Glen Waverley Activity Centre
- unclear connections and opportunity to improve activation.
What happens next?
Council will now:
- Commence the process to excise a lot of approximately 1,000sqm from the Central Car Park site for a future public plaza.
- Commence the process to sell the remaining land of the Central Car Park in Glen Waverley (281 Springvale Road, Glen Waverley).
- Progress detailed design work as outlined above over the current and the next financial year
The sale of the Central Car Park will involve a community engagement process, a commencement date for this has not yet been determined.
Have your say
Feedback closed on 23 August.