BELLARINE MP Lisa Neville and City of Greater Geelong mayor Bruce Harwood have officially turned the sod on the new $13.3 million Drysdale Child and Family Centre.
Joined by local daycare and kindergarten children, the event on Monday marked the start of construction of the integrated early childhood centre on Palmerston Street.
The new centre, scheduled for completion by December 2019, will provide a comprehensive range of early childhood and family support services including long day care, kindergarten, maternal and child health, toy library, consulting services and a large multipurpose community space.
“This new state-of-the-art child and family centre will cater to Drysdale’s growing population and provide 66 kindergarten places and 92 long daycare places,” Cr Harwood said.
“The city’s investment in early childhood facilities provides the essential infrastructure required by our growing population and ensures our children get the best possible start in life.”
Ms Neville said her government was investing in first-rate early childhood facilities across the state, including in Drysdale, so children could access great local kindergartens with first-rate facilities.
“We’re improving early childhood facilities on the Bellarine because having great facilities makes a big difference to children’s lives,” she said.
The project has been funded by the City of Greater Geelong with a state government contribution of $1.6 million through the Children’s Facilities Capital Funding Program.
The site for the new centre is next to the Bellarine Community Health Centre, which will further benefit the community by providing the opportunity for connections between the two facilities and services.
Consultation for the design and development of the centre took place with key stakeholders and local residents.
The centre, designed by Perkins Architects and built by Lyons Construction Pty Ltd, will meet 5 Star Green Star accreditation, indicating Australian Excellence in environmental design and sustainability.