The southern end of the Parkes CBD is set to be totally transformed over the next 12 months, with work commencing on the Lower Clarinda Street upgrades and the new Cooke Park Multipurpose Centre.
Council are have recently completed water main renewal works in lower Clarinda Street in preparation for the CBD Vibrancy project to start on Thursday, August 8.
Contractors, Cabonne Constructions have also begun preliminary site works in Cooke Park, in preparation for the old Community Hall to be demolished in September to make way for the new Multipurpose Centre.
Parkes Shire Mayor, Cr Ken Keith OAM said the Central Business District is the community's most important civic space as it is the focal point for social, economic and cultural activity.
"These urban renewal works will set the tone, identity and personality of our community, forming a base for a strong retail sector and reflect civic interest and community pride," Cr Keith said.
The $8.5 million project forms part of the Parkes CBD Vibrancy Strategy, which was developed out of in-depth consultation with the community back in 2016.
The revitalisation works aim to inject vitality into the lower CBD and stimulate economic activity and investment.
The revitalisation of Lower Clarinda Street has been designed to address specific issues identified during the consultation process.
The project will include the construction of new roads, kerbs, gutters and drainage, installation of new street furniture, a new entry sign, landscaping and irrigation, as well as smart street lights.
The new Cooke Park Multipurpose Centre will include an events stage, multipurpose room (80 seat capacity) with kitchen facilities, flexi-room, store room, and male, female and accessible toilets.
Federal Member for Riverina Michael McCormack said he was delighted to deliver more than $4.2 million towards the project through the Federal Government's Building Better Regions Fund.
"I know these infrastructure upgrades will not only help improve the amenity of the Parkes Central Business District, but will further entrench Parkes as a destination for tourism and business events," Mr McCormack said.
To allow for the work to be undertaken, a number of temporary changes to traffic and pedestrian conditions will be implemented at times throughout the construction process.
The community and affected businesses will be advised of these changes in advance by way of public notice, and signage where necessary.
"We will work closely with the community over the next 12 months to minimise the impact of the work on businesses, pedestrians and motorists as much as possible," Cr Keith added.
"The work will be carried out in stages, with regular project updates to be provided to the community via Council's website."
Construction will stand down during the 2020 Parkes Elvis Festival.
Expected completion date is the second half of 2020.
The project is co-funded by the Australian Government under the Building Better Regions Fund and Parkes Shire Council.