Coolum’s heart set to beat stronger
  • Monday 08 December 2014

Jack Morgan Park is widely considered to be Coolum’s civic heart and Sunshine Coast Council has a plan to get it pumping.

Division 9 Councillor Stephen Robinson said a multi-staged upgrade of Jack Morgan Park and Coolum Civic Centre renovations would start in February 2015 to reactivate, revitalise and regenerate the precinct.

“After a number of years of planning and consultation with the Coolum community as part of the Coolum Village Centre Masterplan (2010), council has finalised a design that will breathe new life into Jack Morgan Park,” he said.

“The community has formally identified this 2.6 hectare district-level recreation park as the civic heart of town and this project will transform it into a safe, functional, high quality public open space that is comfortable, accessible and visually appealing. The design plan is available for viewing at the Coolum Library and Coolum Civic Centre.”

Cr Robinson said the first stage of the Jack Morgan Park Upgrade will start in February 2015 and involve improvements to the Coolum Civic Centre building.

“These works will include internal and external renovations to the centre including the foyer, toilets, kitchen, meeting rooms and entry areas,” he said.

“April will see the start of improvements to the park and access road and car parking areas. This will include new footpaths linking the Coolum Library to the Coolum Civic Centre, new tree planting, new outdoor seating areas and improvements to drainage and kerbing. New car park lighting, bike racks and way-finding signage will also be installed.

“A reconfiguration of the existing access road and car parking area will include a safer ‘drop off’ zone for vehicle passengers. It is worth noting that the current number of car parking spaces within the precinct will not reduce as a result of these works.

“Stage One works are anticipated to be complete by August 2015.”

Cr Robinson said additional stages of the Jack Morgan Park Upgrade were planned for 2016-2019 as subject to available funding.

“The overall aim of this upgrade is to transform Jack Morgan Park from a secluded and under-used district level park into a genuine civic heart of Coolum for locals and visitors to enjoy,” he said.

“It will feature extensive additional trees and landscaping elements and provide an alternative outdoor recreation and event area to Tickle Park with the ability to host performances, street theatre and even a community garden.”  

Cr Robinson said that as part of the project, the Coolum Community Centre would be relocated in the future from its temporary home in Jack Morgan Park to a suitable, local, permanent site in order to open up the park from Park Street and maximise the open, green space.

“We have provided a guarantee to the community and Community Centre Management that the Centre and its services will remain operating from Jack Morgan Park until a suitable, permanent, local site is found,” he said.

“Once a site is identified we will then develop a transition strategy in consultation with Community Centre Management to ensure that the community is provided with adequate advance notice of the relocation and that the centre’s services can operate as quickly as possible from the new location,” he said.

The upgrade and revitalisation of the Jack Morgan Park is the latest stage of the Coolum Village Masterplan (2010). Previous stages included: 
Stage 1 involved construction of the Coolum Surf Club art area to the south of the surf club that was completed in September 2010.
Stage 2 involved constructing a new public amenities building in Tickle Park and improved pedestrian links and landscape gardens that were completed in August 2011.
Stage 3 involved constructing a new roundabout at the intersection of Birtwill Street and David Low Way and major streetscaping improvements that were completed in December 2011.
Stage 4 involved constructing a new roundabout at the Elizabeth Street and David Low Way intersection), Tickle Park works and major streetscaping improvements that were completed in December 2012.