The Gatekeeper’s Cottage is getting closer to completion with a new foundation under the building, new incoming services connected and hazardous materials, such as asbestos, have been removed.
City of Ballarat Infrastructure and Environment Director Terry Demeo said works are being completed by local builder Peter Broadhead, with local trades and suppliers used.
“The cottage interior has been cleared, with the original frame to be stiffened and straightened,” Mr Demeo said.
“Chimneys have been reconstructed to match the original detail, new services have been roughed in, wall and ceiling linings have been renewed and currently the carpentry fix out is underway.”
Other works include a new deck area, which will provide a public space that can also be used for outdoor education sessions.
A new portico has also been constructed to identify the new main entry. It has been built as an arbour structure which will, in time, support climbing plants tended to by the Friends of the Gardens.
The original front door will be operational, however a DDA compliant accessible entry has also been incorporated.
Work still to be done includes repairs and original cladding and fretwork painting, internal floor and wall finishes and fix out, reconstruction of the front verandas to match the original detailing, construction of a cottage garden and picket fence to the original entry, terraces to provide access to the decking’s north elevation, external works (including paths and landscaping) to link the cottage to the Wendouree Parade precinct, and associated infrastructure such as parking and toilets.
“The cottage’s renewal works have been funded by the City of Ballarat. The Friends of the Gardens are funding the fit out of furniture and education fixtures,” Mr Demeo said.
“The cottage will be open to the public after Easter (May 2019) with external works to the south elevation to continue as a separate project.”
The cottage will deliver a space for display of the Botanical Gardens history and to provide a space for current Friends of the Gardens education activities to be expanded.
Council will be responsible for the ongoing cottage maintenance. The Friends of the Gardens will provide volunteers to man education activities at the precinct.