CBD project hits new high, when new facilities will be ready
THE $246 million transformation of the Ipswich CBD has reached a new high, with the new library and civic plaza in the heart of the city set to open by the end of the year.
The new council administration building and children's library on the corner of Nicholas St and Union Pl has reached its full height.
Ipswich mayor Teresa Harding and deputy mayor Marnie Doyle 'topped out' the building at its ninth storey.
Despite COVID-19 forcing Hutchinson Builders to introduce new measures to protect its workers, the huge project is still on track.
Cr Harding said the admin building and children's library is expected to done by the end of next year and the completion of the building's structure was an important step in breathing new life back into the city centre.
The new Ipswich Central Library and civic plaza should be open by the end of this year.
The refurbished southern end of Nicholas St was completed at the end of last year and the development will be home to retail, food and entertainment precincts.
"This redevelopment will be a modern and vibrant space for the people of Ipswich and visitors to dine, shop and enjoy the amenities with family and friends," Cr Harding said.
"This new entertainment precinct will boost the Ipswich economy and bring new jobs to the heart of our city.
"We are a step closer to moving the business of council right back here to the heart of the city.
"The water play area and the performance stage will bring life to our Ipswich CBD. They're on track for opening at the end of the year just in time for summer.
"Our workforce will transition to the new building. The current buildings will be used by Queensland health to meet the city's needs."
Hutchies managing director Greg Quinn said the company has been involved in 60 projects in the city since 1995, to a value of more than $415 million.
About 140 workers were on site in the CBD in March, with that number swelling to 250 in June.
The company will soon begin the works for the overhaul of the East Ipswich train station.
Mr Quinn, who lives in Silkstone, said Hutchies was committed to Ipswich going forward.
"We really do have an attachment to Ipswich," he said.
"About three years ago, just under 10 per cent of our then 1700 strong workforce actually resided in Ipswich.
"We have a real bond to the town. We want to be known as locals.
"We've all watched and experienced the Ipswich city centre over the past two or three decades.
"I'm personally really pleased that council has decided to come back."
The final stages of the Nicholas St redevelopment will be overseen by the Ipswich Central Redevelopment Committee, which was established in May.