Boulder Town Hall Admin Centre

Published on Saturday, 12 June 2021 at 2:47:00 PM

A call this week to build new City Council offices behind the Kalgoorlie Town Hall comes 20 years too late.

If the Kalgoorlie-Boulder City Council was ever going to do such a thing it would have been before the current administration offices were built in lower Hannan Street.

At the time there was fierce debate over three sites for the offices of the recently combined Town of Kalgoorlie and Shire of Boulder; extend the existing offices at the Civic Centre (site of Rydges Hotel), extend to the side of the Kalgoorlie Town Hall or build at a greenfield site.

It was the third of those that was chosen and we now have a modern administration complex at 577 Hannan Street and I strongly believe it would be a waste of ratepayers money to build another set of offices.

At the time I thought a fourth site should have been chosen and that was the Boulder Town Hall.

The main reason why the Kalgoorlie Town Hall option was rejected, was that parking in the area was already in short supply and would be exacerbated by putting another 100-plus staff into the area, plus allowing parking bays for visitors and ratepayers doing council business.

The same problem did not apply in Burt Street.

In fact, the addition of so many workers into Burt Street would have provided a boost to businesses in the Boulder CBD, with cafés and hotels doing a roaring trade.

We are all proud of our magnificent town halls but the reality – especially with the addition of the Goldfields Arts Centre – means they get little use and maintenance costs for century-old buildings mounts up. Another problem is they are hot in summer and cold in winter and to air condition such buildings with very high ceilings could be very expensive.

Rather than turning the Boulder Town Hall into the City’s administration center the council is now considering making it one of our main tourist attractions.

It already houses the Goldfields War Museum and there are plans to add a sporting museum and an exhibition space for our many works of art that need a permanent home.

There would be several reasons why visitors would want to go to the Boulder Town Hall which would be one of the bookends of a vibrant tourist precinct – the other bookend being the Boulder Loopline.

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