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Out with the old

The former Lerderderg Children’s Centre in Darley Photo – Jessica Howard
The former Lerderderg Children’s Centre in Darley Photo – Jessica Howard

By Kate Taylor

Quotes are being sought for the purchase and removal of buildings and other infrastructure at the old Lerderderg Children’s Centre site.

Councillors voted at the April 5 meeting to declare the site surplus to council needs, as the Darley Early Learning Centre is now up and running.

The 6200sqm site is located on the corner of Albert and Nelson Streets, Darley, and has served as a Kindergarten, Maternal & Child Health Centre, Council Early Years office and Occasional Care service for the past 16 years.

The portable buildings were moved to the existing site in 1999 after being purchased from the City of Moonee Valley to act as temporary and portable facilities for a kindergarten service in Darley in 1999.

But a council report on the site found that it lacks private meeting space as well as disability accessibility, with the report stating that to bring the site up to compliance with disability access requirements would cost over $70,000.

“It is proposed that it would be more financially sustainable to dispose of the Lerderderg Children’s Centre buildings and other assets (storage sheds and play equipment),” read another report prepared by council officers.

The report recommended that the site be declared surplus, noting that it could be used by the neighbouring Darley Primary School – but that other interest is also around.

“The Bacchus Marsh Christian Church has written to the Council expressing interest in leasing or buying the former Lerderderg Children’s Centre to run programs such as a Youth Centre; Play Group; Foodbank; Return to 
Work for Mums and English skills for migrants in an Opportunity Shop and Café environment,” the report stated.

“It is proposed that the expression of interest from the Bacchus Marsh Christian Church be considered after the conclusion of the invitation to quote process and in determining the future use of the site.”

A further report will be presented to council after the invitation to quote process has been completed.