Our new shelter – opinions requested

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(Written by Sheilagh)

We have just heard that we have been successful in a Community Development grant from the City of Ballarat to the value of $5062! Together with the fabulous effort everyone has made with the three fundraisers since last year, we now have enough to fund a building measuring approximately 15m x 5m, if we go for a shed style building. The building needs to be non-permanent to fit with our lease arrangements so this would fit well with that. It is anticipated that there would be a concrete floor and the cost of erection and permits has been catered for.

We would like everyone to have an opportunity to throw in some ideas about its use and what it could look like. In order to win the grant we had to supply a basic design and measurements. (Click on thumbnail to load full size image.)

floorplan thumbnail

The suggestions so far have been that we use one end as a ‘social’ area with tea and coffee making, library area and sitting space and the other end to be used for workshops. The social end would have windows and a sliding door to the outside. The other end would have a roller door for access. It would be possible to have a petition somewhere to separate the two areas. If this was in the form of folding doors, it would increase the flexibility of use of the whole area. The floor plan that is attached does not reflect the orientation and suggested positioning of roller door, sliding door and windows. These might be a window on the 5m wall nearest the single gate entrance facing east and another window facing out on to the gardens (to the north). The glass sliding door would be facing the gardens too, as would the roller door at the other end.

The quotes that were obtained will need to be updated but it is not anticipated the prices will not have changed much. The committee would like to make some decisions at the next committee meeting on Wed 11th May so your input is sought before then. You can either email me or come to the meeting at 7pm and voice your ideas and opinions, and help us to make the decisions.
I shall make an appointment to see someone in the Planning Dept to check on the processes and forms we will need to fill in (permits etc). Also I will check on our limitations, overlays and other restrictions. This will give us a clear idea of what we can achieve and how soon we could expect to have the building.

Our decisions will be hopefully that we go ahead with the purchase of a shed from a reputable company with the specific requirements (doors windows etc and where they will be). Final decisions on materials (eg roofing material, zinc is cheaper but we might also need some laserlite at the workshop end) will be made after we have heard from you, which is why we need to hear soon.

For our newer members who were not around in 2008 when Bridget called us together to discuss our garden’s future, this project has been at least 2 years in the making and I believe we are now ready to move on a basic structure that we ‘live with’ for a while and modify to our needs as they become apparent. The room will allow us to have ‘weather-proof’ social functions, respite from the elements while we are gardening or meeting and a place where we can look up that piece of information right when we need it. There will be opportunities to learn a great deal more about gardening in structured ways and under cover.

I am looking forward to hearing from you all in some way over the next 2 weeks. I am sure you all have lots of ideas for the building so please let us know what they are.

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