Construction underway on $11m Henley Beach community hub

Construction has officially commenced on the Ngutungka Henley community hub which is designed to combine the library and community centre into one cohesive space.

Artist image: City of Charles Sturt

Construction has officially commenced on the new $11.2 million Ngutungka Henley community hub, set to become a new focal point for residents of Henley Beach.

Named after the Kaurna word for ‘Place of Knowledge,’ Ngutungka Henley is the next step in enhancing the community’s access to knowledge, creativity, and connection, following the successful launch of Ngutungka West Lakes earlier this year.

This innovative project is designed to combine a library and community centre into one cohesive space while preserving the heritage-listed Henley Town Hall.

“We officially had the commencement ceremony last week, with a smoking and cleansing ceremony by Uncle Moogy,” a representative from the City of Charles Sturt told Glam Adelaide.

“It was a really exciting first step before we moved onto the construction phase.”

Ngutungka Henley is the result of extensive consultation with the local community and collaboration with JPE Architects, ensuring that it caters to the specific needs and desires of Henley Beach residents.

“It was a really thorough process to engage with the community. We held a lot of stakeholder workshops and the architects held a lot of pop-ups which helped shape the design based off feedback from the community,” the representative said.

“It’s a really exciting opportunity to shape something that will not only cater to the groups who currently access our facilities, but future users.”

To pave the way for construction, the Henley Beach Library temporarily closed its doors on October 29 last year, which was followed by the demolition of the building.

The upcoming Ngutungka Henley, once built, promises to offer all the familiar library facilities, including an extensive book and digital collection, computers, internet access, and cozy reading areas.

It will also feature dedicated spaces for children and young adults, as well as areas for storytime, author talks, and various programs and events.

The new community hub will boast multiple activity spaces that can be utilised for fitness groups, cooking classes, art workshops, social activities, and more. These spaces will also be available for booking by the community, allowing for a wide range of activities and events.

Throughout the building, there will be numerous areas for relaxation, meetings, reading, and studying, including a covered outdoor space.

One exciting aspect of Ngutungka Henley’s design is the large art installation planned for the facility’s ceiling. Collaborating closely with Aunty Lynette Crocker and members of the Southern Cultural Weavers group, the project will feature a woven art installation reflecting local marine life.

Community members will have the opportunity to participate in workshops to learn weaving techniques and contribute to the creation of this remarkable installation.

Representatives from the City of Charles Sturt say the anticipated completion is by the end of the year, with hopes of opening the doors to the public before the summer season.

For more information on this project, click here.

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