Frequently Asked Questions

Your questions answered on the Whitehorse performing arts centre redevelopment.

Project Need and Benefits

Q: Why is Council building a new performing arts facility?
The old Whitehorse Centre was a beloved performing arts and cultural venue for more than 30 years but had reached the end of its functional working life. Ongoing maintenance problems, increasing equipment failures, lack of flexibility and poor accessibility meant the building was no longer fit for purpose. 
 
Q: How will a new performing arts facility benefit the community?
The new Whitehorse performing arts centre will be welcoming, flexible and accessible to all. It will provide opportunities for a greatly expanded range of performing arts, events and functions.

Across the construction phase and beyond, the new centre is expected to generate 320+ jobs, both directly and indirectly. 

Design Features

Q: What features will the new Whitehorse performing arts centre have?
The new centre is designed to cater for current and future use. 
Key features will include: 

  • 626-seat auditorium - large stage and modern backstage area 
  • 200-seat studio theatre 
  • multipurpose rehearsal/dance studio 
  • multipurpose function room 
  • improved soundshell for community festivals and other outdoor events
  • improved car parking for easy access to the performing arts centre, library, Council offices, parkland and the nearby Walker Park sports precinct.

Q: What sustainability measures will be put in place?    
The principles of reuse and recycling are being employed throughout all project stages.  
Environmentally-sustainable design features of the new performing arts centre will include:

  • double-glazed windows
  • efficient thermal performance of the building for internal climate control
  • rainwater harvesting for toilet flushing
  • energy-efficient plant and equipment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 
  • use of low carbon and durable building materials 
  • LED lighting
  • landscape treatments
  • water-efficient fixtures and fittings
  • recycling and waste minimisation.

Q: What will happen to the leadlight glass windows from the old Whitehorse Centre? 
Recognising the significant community value of the leadlight window, it has been retained and will be a feature of the new performing arts centre. 

Landscape

Q: Will trees be removed to make way for the new Whitehorse performing arts centre?
As part of the demolition of the old Whitehorse Centre and in preparation for construction of the new centre, a number of trees will need to be removed or relocated. As the project progresses, new trees will be planted and, once complete, there will be more trees across the precinct than when the project began. 

Car Park

Q: What car parking will be provided?
Approximately 430 car parking spaces will be provided within the civic precinct (up from the current 220 spaces) when the project is completed. This includes ground-level parking as well as a new open double-storey car park. 

The new car park will have ground-level entry to both levels and a low pedestrian ramp to enable easy, convenient and safe access to the performing arts centre, library, Council offices, local parkland and nearby Walker Park sports precinct. 

Budget

Q: How much will the new centre cost?     
The project budget is set at $78 million and will be funded over several financial years without any new borrowings or rate increases.

Project Timeline

Q: What is the timeframe for the project?
The demolition phase was completed in late 2020. 

Construction of the open double-storey car park started in January 2021 and is expected to be completed mid-late 2021. 

Construction of the new Whitehorse performing arts centre is anticipated to start in late 2021 and is expected to be completed in late 2023.

Works Activities

Q: What is being done to mitigate against potential impacts of works activities on the local area?
All contractors are required to put in place a Construction Management Plan to minimise the potential impacts of works, such as noise, dust and traffic disruption to the site, and operate within Environment Protection Authority standards.  

Q What will happen to the large mound of soil on site?    
This soil has been excavated from the site of the open double-storey car park and stockpiled where the new Whitehorse performing arts centre will be built. It will be used to build up the ground levels to provide a platform base for construction of the new centre structure. 

Precinct Access

Q: What access will there be to the civic precinct during construction?
Throughout the project, the civic precinct will be open to the public, with car parking available for visitors to the Council offices, library, surrounding parkland and nearby Walker Park sports precinct. 

Access to pathways and parking within the civic precinct will change as construction progresses. A parking map is available at www.whitehorsecentre.com.au/redevelopment

Performances 

Q: What will happen to performances and other shows while construction is underway?
The Whitehorse Performing Arts Program’s professional Main Season and Midweek Matinee Series will be presented at local venues while construction is underway. Please refer to show information for venue and booking details. The program will be subject to COVID-19 restrictions of the day.

To stay informed, visit www.whitehorsecentre.com.au/whats-on