The much anticipated upgrade of Newcastle Art Gallery will pass a major milestone next month.
Newcastle Council has narrowed down the list of companies being considered to carry out the main stage of the $40 million dollar expansion to just four. They will have the opportunity to submit tenders in January, with works slated to kick off mid-2023.
Remediation of the historic Borehole Seam mine tunnels 80 metres below the building is well advanced, with almost 70 bores drilled and more than 1500 cubic metres of grout placed.
Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said it was pleasing to see the much-anticipated project progressing towards key milestones.
“After more than 16 years of effort to make this project a reality, we are finally seeing real progress to deliver an expanded and upgraded Art Gallery of international standing, which will become a fitting home for our nationally significant $126 million collection,” Cr Nelmes said.
“By doubling the size of the Gallery and significantly increasing the exhibition space to display works of art of local, national and international importance, this project will launch a new era of cultural tourism that will consolidate the Hunter’s reputation as an active and vibrant centre for the arts in NSW.”
All works of art have been professionally moved to a safe and secure offsite location, and Art Gallery staff have also relocated to City of Newcastle’s Administration Centre at 12 Stewart Avenue ahead of the construction work.
Once complete, the expanded Newcastle Art Gallery will extend the building’s footprint east along Darby Street and Queen Street and will include a new café and retail shop, multi-purpose and educational program space, and a secure international standard loading dock.