MORNINGTON’S $1.2 million youth centre in Wilsons Rd will likely open in September as work to convert an old classroom block nears completion.
Contractors are refurbishing half of the former Mornington Secondary School block as well as attached toilets, changing room and storage area.
The school moved from Wilsons Rd to its current site on the Nepean Highway in 1999 and Mornington Peninsula Shire bought a large part of the old school land and its three remaining buildings.
The first half of the block was refurbished in 2010 and 2011 for community radio station RPP-FM and opened in September 2011. It was Mornington Peninsula Shire’s first major “community capital project” – a combination of voluntary and paid labour as well as donated and discounted materials that saw the job done for about a third of full commercial cost.
The federal government has provided $800,000 for the youth centre with the shire spending $400,000 to refurbish an area of 720 square metres.
Mornington Youth Resource Centre becomes part of the Peninsula Community Theatre precinct, which includes the 450-seat theatre (formerly called Findlay Hall), The Studio (the old library), which is used by art and performance groups, and the radio station with its large performance studio.
A shire spokesman said the youth centre would include three activities rooms, two private consulting rooms and a staff area.
Part of the refurbished building will be the new home of Mornington Men’s Shed (MMS), which is based at Mornington Peninsula Youth Enterprises in nearby Mitchell St, the old Shire of Mornington sewage works. MMS has a $60,000 state government grant for internal fitout.
MMS woodworking, metalwork and other “construction” activities would remain at Mitchell St, the shire spokesman said.
Shire councillors approved the refurbishment tender late last year. A shire report stated it would complement youth hubs at Rosebud, Hastings and Frankston, which offer “important services, support, information and activities”.