The ARK Project
Posted on February 28, 2023
The Deputy Premier Michael Ferguson, City Mission CEO Stephen Brown and GM Client Services Narelle Howell viewing progress with the Ark renovation project.
City Mission has purchased a significant property in Killafaddy Road, Launceston, and together, with the local community, is creating the ARK, an integrated community facility that supports a range of programs for children, youth, and their families. The ARK will deliver programs that are equally appealing to engage in, and beneficial to a young person’s mental health and well-being.
The Arks strategic intent is to increase capacity and opportunities for community, in particular, the location will help deliver programs to our communities that are in most need. The ARK will provide coordination and facilitation of City Mission services, with the aim of transforming the lives of children, youth, their families, and communities - a safe refuge for healing and restoration for children and youth, and a place to learn and develop, transforming lives for a better future.
Creating a dedicated multi-purpose space
The ARK will be a place of learning and healing through creativity, nature, innovation, and entrepreneurship.
This space is critical to youth and children as it provides a non-clinical environment and one where they feel safe, welcome and engaged with. The importance of this cannot be understated as the anxiety and stress levels of our cohort are an important factor in their engagement with our programs.
According to a recent national survey of the mental health and wellbeing of Australian children and adolescents, approximately 278,000 Australian children aged between 4 and 17 struggle with clinical symptoms of Anxiety.
City Mission youth program ‘The Mish’ will relocate to the site creating a hub for young people to connect; with workshops promoting healthy living, developing entrepreneurial and creative ideas, and mentoring support.
Re-location of the Inside Out 4 Kids team to the site, and the provision of a site that supports the expanding need to provide a state-wide program that delivers a suite of programs to improve emotional literacy for children; and an emotional literacy training program delivered in person or online for school and other community groups.
The Ark and its programs will
- Support improved educational and economic outcomes
- Create more sustainable communities
- Create improved family, social and community connectedness
- Create better equipped children, young people and families for dealing with change, grief, worry, and loss; improved emotional management
- Improve physical and mental heath outcomes, and improved wellbeing
- Support the development of life skills
- Create positive employment outcomes and opportunities for young people experiencing challenges.
Work in Progress
The property was originally constructed in the 1970s and has historically been used as corporate offices, Christian church, Christian school and more recently a private residence and community market. The Ark sits on 1.4 ha (3.5 acres of land), and each floor is around 1084 m2 in footprint.
The property required infrastructure upgrades and renovation to meet current building regulations, operational requirements, WH&S requirements and access and disability standards. The project is broken into two phases with the first achieving infrastructure upgrades and operational improvements satisfying regulatory and planning requirements (Stage 1 – which is completed in May ’23), and the second stage focusing on further redevelopment of areas for expanded and improved program delivery.
Stage 1 development sees 1330m2 of that footprint renovated and fitted out, infrastructure power upgrades, air conditioning and disabled access. Level 1 will accommodate youth services, including commercial kitchen for hospitality training, external tenants Prescare and Redemption Hill church, and City Mission services.
Stage 2 of the redevelopment project will focus on further redevelopment of areas to expand program delivery and include:
- Alternative School facilities
- Trade Training areas
- Flexible learning areas
- Youth Transitional Housing