Illawarra residents will be familiar with the swathe of green on the western side of Five Islands Road and north of Wattle Street. The vision is to create a Community Campus on this oasis in the thick of the sheds and structures that comprise the steelworks. It will be a hub for a wide variety groups to make use of underutilised existing buildings and the open space to include training areas, events and outdoor activities.
There are five existing buildings and various car parks on the land, which is otherwise open green space planted with trees and gently sloping down towards the northern boundary. Flagstaff has a lease on one building for their NDIS program as well as the old medical centre as an opportunity to expand. Community Industry Group has a lease on another building.
Forums facilitated by Edmiston Jones allowed many people from a broad cross section of the community to contribute to the vision for the Campus. Lots of ideas came together around common themes of environment, communal sharing, education, and culture and this has informed the Master Plan. The key priorities for the site include an all-ages inclusive playground with parking and amenities, a community garden, picnic areas and cultural interpretation trails. The project team will also be lobbying to improve the accessibility of public transport to ensure everyone can easily visit the site.
The project team is finalising the Master Plan which will be presented to the BlueScope Board early next year. As the landowners, BlueScope’s approval is required before funds can be raised to implement the design in stages as means become available. The designs will be presented to the community at a meeting early in the new year. We will keep you posted!