Structural Issues Too Great To Keep Building

Monday, June 24, 2019

For many years Foster’s old infant welfare centre building in Pioneer Street has been used as office space by South Gippsland Water, but it is no longer structurally sound and work to dismantle it is beginning.

South Gippsland Water Managing Director, Philippe du Plessis said, “Similar to the old South Gippsland Shire op shop building that used to be between South Gippsland Water and the secondary college, the old infant welfare centre has unresolvable issues relating to its structure, usability and our occupational health and safety responsibilities to staff.”

“The cost of renovation and refurbishment has been thoroughly investigated but, unfortunately, has been determined to be prohibitive,” confirmed Mr du Plessis. “Staff who have occupied the building are now accommodated in either the main office building or the old kinder building which was purchased and upgraded when it became available.”

Safety fencing around the building has been in place for some time now allowing for the gutting of the building during June and it will remain in place throughout demolition.

Local residents and those who travel and/or park along Pioneer Street are asked to take particular care in the vicinity of the work area.

“The decision to demolish has not been taken lightly,” explained Mr du Plessis. “We acknowledge the attachment that many people have toward the building; it’s been part of the community landscape since 1959.”

It is anticipated that the demolition work will be completed by the end of July. The site will then be used for additional staff parking to alleviate the demand for street parking along Pioneer Street and near the childcare centre.