After many years of neglect and on again, off again, proponent interest in Geraldton’s original railway station building, the heritage listed structure is about to be given a lick of love at last.
Funding of $1 million was allocated from Royalties for Regions through the Mid West Development Commission’s Mid West Investment Plan towards restoration of the State-owned (and leased by the City of Greater Geraldton), heritage asset, in January this year and tenders have been called to undertake the work.
The City of Greater Geraldton is contributing $1.03 million and a further $100,000 has been granted through the Regional Development Australia Fund.
This will allow the City to protect the 134-year-old building on Marine Tce, erected in 1879 as the station for the State’s first government public railway line between Geraldton and Northampton, and will now provide a new base for the Geraldton Visitor Centre.
City Mayor, Mr Ian Carpenter, said the restoration would go a long way to revitalising the West End precinct.
“It will bring more life and tourism to the area, be a place of interest for residents and visitors and complement the Geraldton foreshore and Eastern Breakwater development,” he said.
“The restoration will be well received by many locals and history buffs as it has always been an emotional topic of conversation.”
The building has enjoyed a varied and useful history. After being closed as a railway station it was vested in Geraldton Town Council in 1909, and was converted into the
Mechanics Institute (a broadly speaking 1800s term for a place of learning for working class people), and then a library.
The building was last used as a branch of the WA Museum until 2000 and has remained empty and languishing since.
Tenders are sought from qualified contractors for detailed design, specifications, scope of works and estimates for conservation works to suit the housing of the visitor centre, in accordance with Heritage Plan number P1068.
The Request for Tender documentation can be obtained from the City of Greater Geraldton Tenderlink page: https://www.tenderlink.com/cgg/ Tenders must be submitted via the Tenderlink webpage or in a sealed envelope clearly stating the RFQ reference number and delivered by hand to the Tender Box, Civic Centre, 63 Cathedral Avenue, Geraldton. The closing date for submissions is 4pm Thursday, May 2, 2013.