The Cubby House, Richmond Kindergarten and the Stables at 92-104 Lord Street and 19-27 Duke Street in Richmond are collectively called the Chas Farquhar community hub.

We’re planning for the future of the hub, including upgrading buildings and facilities.

Works are expected to begin on the kindergarten building on Monday 28 June 2021 and completed around May 2022. This work includes building a new the kindergarten room, a new community room and upgrading the current space. Landscaping will also be done on playgrounds and outdoor space.

Access to local residential houses will be maintained throughout the construction and traffic and pedestrian management will be in place. For safety reasons, please follow these directions.

Thank you for being patient during construction.

Next steps

Once the building upgrade is complete, we will work with the local community to plan the programs and activities that will be held at the hub.

This will ensure that the buildings are being fully utilised, and that the childcare, facilities and activities meet the needs of the community.

Why are we upgrading these facilities?

There are some issues at the complex that need to be addressed:

  • Increasing the number of kindergarten places at Richmond Kindergarten, including space to provide 3-year-old kindergarten, which the Victorian Government will be introducing from 2022.
  • The Cubby House building is nearing the end of its life, and relocation of current Neighbourhood House services needs to be considered.
  • Improving utilisation of the community rooms at The Stables.

Will there be noise and dust during the works?

These will be minimal. The noise and dust are controlled through a management plan and in accordance with the EPA standards. Amelioration works includes damping the dust, building hoardings or using the tall fence on Lord St to ensure confinement of the dust where practicable.

After the demolition and construction of the footings in the first six weeks it is expected that the level of disturbance will significantly reduce .

Will pedestrian access be affected?

Sections of the footpath will be temporarily affected in stages. Alternate safe access will be provided during the works.

Will parking be affected?

Yes, designated work parking spaces will be needed. These will be clearly marked.

Will the roads be closed?

We do not expect any road closures during the project. However, there may be deliveries that affect the street access when they occur.

What does the proposed design look like?

See more about the proposed design.

The design for the upgrade is strictly limited by the space and budget we have available for this project. The design makes the best use of the site and the existing Richmond Kindergarten building.

It also takes into consideration a number of other factors:

  • The need to include disability accessible facilities, including improving the path into the building and altering the bathrooms. This will allow children of all abilities to use the facilities at the kindergarten.
  • The design needs to meet all requirements for education and care facilities for early childhood. It also needs to create more space so that more spaces will be available for children to attend.
  • It needs to ensure a modern learning environment and high quality facilities.
  • The community has told us that the outdoor spaces at the hub are very important. The new design ensures that there is still plenty of open space at the site.
  • The design needs to adhere with Yarra Council’s sustainability, design and procurement standards.

Is the design environmentally sustainable?

The design includes sustainable features which will help optimise energy use and save water. These features include:

  • Water harvesting.
  • High-rated sustainable taps to help minimise water use.
  • Solar will be installed on roofs.
  • Energy efficiencies will be installed, such as the use of LEDS lighting and sensors in rooms, and increased insulation in ceilings.
  • The site will no longer use gas – everything will be powered by electricity from renewable sources.
  • Where possible, recycled and repurposed timber and other building materials will be used.

What will happen to the kindergarten during the construction works?

The kindergarten programs will operate as normal during construction works, although there may be other changes made due to COVID-19. The works will be structured to enable the kindergarten to operate in the existing building, and then transfer to the new room so that works can take place in the existing building.

The building contractor will be required to work in accordance with safety and risk management strategies and child safe standards.

What will happen to the Richmond Community Learning Centre (RCLC)’s Cubby House programs?

We will offer RCLC a new agreement for use of spaces at the hub closer to the completion of the upgrade. Currently, RCLC has use of the downstairs of the Stables (7 days a week) and specific days access to the first floor (4 days a week) to provide their neighbourhood programs.

We will review community demand and access to The Stables during the construction period to ensure that space is fully utilised.

RCLC offer hire of the space for children’s parties and can continue to do this in the Stables (subject to COVID-19 restrictions) whilst the construction work is happening. Unfortunately, during the works we cannot allow access to the outdoor area as it will be a construction zone. Following completion of the construction work, we may provide indoor and outdoor access for the neighbourhood house programs.

What previous consultation has been done on this project?

In September and October 2019, we asked the local community for feedback and ideas on the services and activities provided at the Chas Farquhar complex. We also asked for your feedback on the management model of the facilities. Find out what we heard.

Based on your input, Yarra Council resolved to transition the Cubby House, the Richmond Kindergarten and the Stables into an integrated community hub offering a range services for families at Council Meetings on 3 and 17 December 2019.

The hub will also provide a place for neighbourhood activities and venue hire.

Find out more about the services and activities at the hub

If you would like more information about the childcare, kindergarten or other activities and services held at the hub, you can contact Yarra’s Family, Youth and Children’s Services team by emailing info@yarracity.vic.gov.au or calling (03) 9205 5555.

For inquiries regarding the construction works and program you can contact Ann Limbrey, Senior Project Manager Buildings, City Works and Assets Division by emailing ann.limbrey@yarracity.vic.gov.au.