Kyneton Primary School in Baynton Street, Kyneton was closed in March 2018.
Later that year, the Victorian Government’s Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) undertook consultation with the community on what it valued about the site and how it could be redeveloped. The consultation found that the community wanted to site kept for community use, with a gallery space and areas for community groups.
In the 2020-21 Victorian Government Budget, $12 million was allocated to deliver a new gallery space within the 1800s heritage bluestone building on site and a range of safety and accessibility improvements.
Following an Expression of Interest process in 2021, the Victorian Government selected Working Heritage as future site operator.
In collaboration with Working Heritage, Development Victoria and Creative Victoria the transformation of the site into a vibrant gallery and community event space is now underway.
In 2022 Development Victoria appointed construction firm, McCorkell – specialists in complex cultural heritage sites - to carry out the works due for completion in early 2024.
Work is currently being undertaken to restore the 1860’s building, creating internal spaces for the new gallery and exhibition areas, a new food and beverage offering, and an accessible entrance.
A new link building is also being constructed to provide a main entry and function space.
As part of the project, we will be planting over 5000 new plants commonly found in the local area, including 12 new trees. Existing trees will be retained on site unless deemed unsafe.
As construction progresses, Working Heritage is working with local creatives and community groups on a series of activations and public events on site.
Once this initial phase of works is complete, the site will be open to the public to host events, exhibitions, and community markets, contributing to the local economy by encouraging visitors and investment from outside the local area.
The project will unlock an asset currently not available to the community and its visitors. The site will integrate the local character of Kyneton by retaining existing trees and providing new landscaping.
The new gallery space will be available for a range of uses by the region’s broader creative industries and community groups throughout the year ensuring this much loved asset can supporting the ongoing growth of the region’s creative and cultural industries.
Strategic site master
Working Heritage has worked with local architects, Winwood Mackenzie and Fieldwork, to develop a strategic site master plan that will guide the long-term vision for the site beyond the initial phase of works being delivered across 2023.
We have completed the following works:
- Bell tower restoration (slates, gutters/flashings and finial)
- Slate roof restoration to bluestone building
- Metal roof replacement
- Internal foundation works to bluestone building
- Internal carpentry and flooring to bluestone building
- New fire tank and pump slabs
- Demolition of existing foundations between bluestone building and the 1980s building
- Structural internal steel reinforcement to bluestone building
We are currently undertaking:
- Underground hydraulic works
- Plumbing and electrical services works inside the bluestone building
- Replacement of doors and frames in the bluestone building
- New foundations for the ‘future building’ – linking the bluestone building to the 1980s building
- New amenities inside the bluestone building.
- Consultation on strategic site master plan
- Development Victoria and Creative Victoria will lodge the Planning Report to DELWP.
- Planning approval received
- Early works begin on site
- Stage 1 major construction works begin
- Project complete
- Old Kyneton Primary School Site Update – November 2023 PDF, 176.0 kb
- Old Kyneton Primary School Site Update – October 2023 PDF, 169.8 kb
- Old Kyneton Primary School Site Update – September 2023 PDF, 141.1 kb
- Old Kyneton Primary School Site Update – July 2023 PDF, 166.8 kb
- Old Kyneton Primary School Site Update – April 2023 PDF, 165.7 kb
- Old Kyneton Primary School Site Update – November 2022 PDF, 56.0 kb
While the current works focus on the bluestone building, a masterplan has been developed to outline a long term vision for the future of the site. View the masterplan.
In July 2022, Creative Victoria in conjunction with Development Victoria and Working Heritage, conducted face-to-face and online consultation with the community on the master plan [link to site master plan] for the Old Kyneton Primary School Redevelopment.
Through meetings with stakeholders, discussions with community members at a drop-in session and through submissions to the Engage Victoria website, the project team received generally positive feedback that showed support for the project.
- Over 60% of community members who had participated in previous consultation for the Old Kyneton Primary School felt that the master plan either very closely or closely aligned to previous feedback.
- Over 83% of the community either strongly agreed or agreed that the proposed changes to the buildings, as outlined in the site master plan, demonstrated strong alignment between the master plan and community aspiration for the site.
- Over 91% of the community strongly agreed, agreed with, or were neutral towards future possible options on site including complementing a heritage façade and entrance space to include heritage forecourt with new trees and public seating (refer to section 2 in strategic site master plan).
- Over 85% of the community strongly agreed, agreed with, or were neutral towards the changes proposed: Town Square – from intersection of Mollison Street and High Street, along Baynton Street to the 1860s heritage building.
- Over 82% of the community strongly agreed, agreed with, or were neutral towards the changes proposed: Market Square and multipurpose space for public activities.
- Over 56% of the community strongly agreed, agreed with, or were neutral towards the changes proposed: a new parking area and delivery zone, and a flexible space for parking, loading and market expansion. 24.7% neither agreed nor disagreed.
- Over 80% of the community strongly agreed, agreed with, or were neutral towards the changes proposed: First Nations Gardens.
- Over 74% of the community strongly agreed, agreed with, or were neutral towards the changes proposed: re-imagined play space
This first phase of works focuses on the iconic bluestone 1860’s heritage building - the original school building.
Construction commenced in 2022. Important work is being undertaken to restore the building, creating internal spaces for a new gallery and exhibition area, and a new food and beverage offering.
A new link building will also be constructed providing a main entry to welcome visitors to the site, as well as a space for future events.
External landscaping works and new accessible car parking will improve the site’s accessibility and amenity so the Old Kyneton Primary School can host a range of outdoor community events, year-round.
Ageing assets on site will be replaced and critical repairs will also form part of this phase of works, smoothing the way for the site’s future operations.
While this phase is underway, planning continues on future phases of the project.
Stage of works will be completed in March 2024.
Once the first Stage of works is complete in early 2024, the site will be open to the public to host events, exhibitions, and community markets, contributing to the local economy by encouraging visitors and investment from outside the local area.
A small parking area of 20 spaces will be created in the southeast corner of the site. It is required for waste management, all-ability access, loading and tenant use.
This parking area was clearly defined on the site masterplan that went out for community consultation.
Updated on 21 November 2023