Decision on the Chas Farquhar management model

24 December 2019

At its meetings on 3 and 17 December 2019, 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. The hub will also provide a place for neighbourhood activities and venue hire.

Read the Council Reports from Tuesday 3 December and Tuesday 17 December 2019.

At the moment, the site has several managers. By incorporating all of the services and activities at the hub under one manager we aim to maximise the benefits of each service and facility to the community. This single management model has been proven to be the most efficient method for managing facilities with different services.

Another key driver for the project is the state of the Cubby House building, which is facing significant structural issues.

The upgrade project will deliver:

  • Upgrades to the Richmond Kindergarten (27 Duke St, Richmond) to provide Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) compliance, expanded kindergarten programs and occasional child care and meet all the relevant regulatory requirements for a licensed education and care facility.
  • Improvement works at 19-21 Duke St, Richmond (The Stables) to improve utilisation and offer opportunities for community venue hire, neighbourhood house and community programs.
  • The Cubby House will be demolished due to structural issues and the land will be used to expand the existing buildings and meet DDA compliance, while ensuring that there is still open space available at the site.

Yarra Council’s Family, Youth and Children’s Services (FYC) branch will manage the new hub and develop a set of services, service standards, programs and room bookings.

We will also establish a community reference group to support community ideas and inform programming in the hub to better respond to community needs and interests.

Next steps

In the next few months, we are planning to:

  • Develop and seek community feedback on a detailed design for the building upgrades. The draft design will consider:
    • how the different services and facilities, including outdoor spaces, will work together
    • key elements of DDA compliance
    • education and care service licensing requirements
    • the relationship between the indoor and outdoor spaces for family and children’s programs and activities including community hire of the venue for children’s parties
    • sustainable design features to optimise energy and water savings
  • Work to provide interim options for families and community groups likely to be disrupted by future construction works on the site.
  • Seek community feedback to help name the new community hub.