The Ardrossan Town Square has been developed by the Ardrossan Progress Association, with the assistance of the local community, businesses and Ardrossan Community School to provide a park for community and visitors’ use.
Designs for the block were done through community consultation and a local contractor agreed to project manage the development, which was to be completed by December 2015. Local tradespeople were contracted to complete the work and have provided substantial discounts to this important community project.
The block will provide a focal point for events such as the Ardrossan Christmas street party, a venue for markets and functions. It will also provide information for visitors about local history and places of interest and special events such as the whales stranding in December 2014.
The Progress Committee purchased the block in 2013 and asked the community for suggestions on how it could be used to enhance Ardrossan. It was decided that a park for our community and visitors to Ardrossan to use would also enhance the ambience of the main street and give the town a focal point for visitors and locals to use for recreation and information.
Ardrossan Progress Association committee members explored towns around the region taking pictures of similar spaces in other towns with particular emphasis on features that the committee members felt should be included in the park. All the suggestions and pictures were collated into a booklet and an initial design concept was drawn up for consultation with the community.
This plan was revised several times before a final design was agreed on. The local school children were included in the design consultation and were invited to develop a project to add to the park as the children’s contribution to the park.
Once the design was finalised the APA invited several local businessmen to tender to project manage this development on behalf of the Association. Local builder Ossie Hollitt volunteered to manage the project without fee and using local tradespeople and businesses to complete the work. Work commenced on the project in April 2015 once planning permission was granted.
“The Ardrossan Town Square project has transformed a barren empty block in the middle of our main street into an “oasis” of usable space that has been enthusiastically embraced by locals & visitors alike.”
The committee committed to develop this project in order to:
- Enhance the main street in Ardrossan;
- Provide an outdoor venue for community events and functions in the town;
- Give the community the opportunity to develop this project together – we anticipate that this space will continue to enhance a sense of community;
- Provide a venue for culture and our diverse heritage to be celebrated and communicated to visitors;
- Provide green space with trees and lawns in our town which people young and old can share and enjoy.
This project was a true community project with many Ardrossan locals being involved;
- Progress Association Committee – approx. 50 volunteer hours
- APA Administration Officer – approx. 120 paid hours
- Tidy Towns group – approx. 40 hours – cleared the old fence and rubbish and have undertaken tasks such as painting fence rails
- Ossie Hollitt project managing – 200 hours
- Ardrossan Earthmovers – donated earthworks
- various tradespeople and businesses donated labour and charged discounted rates for work and materials.
COMMUNITY AWARENESS AND EDUCATION
The details of the proposed project were advertised in the local newsletter, the Ardrossan Antics, and the Yorke Peninsula Country Times included an editorial on the project. The APA’s Facebook site has also been used to inform the public. The community has shown a keen interest in the development of the project by contributing ideas and local businesses provided their services at a competitive rate.
This area will provide a venue for functions, events, concerts, markets etc. which will bring visitors into Ardrossan as well as drawing the community closer together. We plan in phase two to have information boards along the back of the shade structures which will give visitors information on how the block was developed, what the school children’s inspiration for their project was, information on the history and culture of Ardrossan including the Aboriginal history in the area. This area will also include seating so people can sit and relax for a picnic lunch while in town. The feature wall was built using old stone, sourced from a local derelict building.
The projected costs for this first phase of development are $150000. This will include the administrative costs of the Progress Association. In addition to this, the APA funded the land purchase at $120000.
This has been a complex project to develop as it has involved a lot of community consultation and a number of contractors. Employing a project manager has been a very good idea. The need for special drainage provisions was an unseen cost. There have been frustrations but overall this is a very satisfying project. Working with the school children has been very rewarding as they have a very different perspective to ours on what is important to have in a leisure space.