“The square’s natural prominence will create green space for the community to relax and socialise while also benefiting the surrounding businesses,” says Katherine Mayor Fay Miller. “It will totally transform the area, adding colour and vitality to the CBD.”
Designed by Darwin architects, the Ashford Group, the focus is on shade, accessibility, safety and low maintenance. The square, dominated by a natural canopy of shade trees, will include cooling misters, a portable café/kiosk, audio visual equipment, festive lighting with various options, public ablutions, safety lighting and CCTV cameras.
The plans also allow for further opportunities to develop outwards across the CBD and even wider. “A unique feature will be a locally designed and constructed sculpture,” Fay says. The exciting concept plans for Katherine’s CBD revitalisation were presented in May 2019. The long-term vision creates a cool, walkable city with additional shade structures, native trees, grassed areas and misting fans.
Katherine Town Council endorsed the initial town square stage in February. The costings, which included the total fit-out of the project, fell under budget. “The entire revitalisation project is something special for Katherine. It has been broken into smaller stages and costed out,” says Fay. “Along with the connecting Arts Trail, the town square stage will inspire the community to mix and mingle in refreshing surrounds.”
Other projects benefiting the community include the replacement of the Don Dale Pavilion and upgrading the canteen, change rooms, toilets, communication and first aid facilities at the sportsground and upgrading of the Katherine Showground. Katherine residents enjoy outdoor activities, and the sportsground facilities service more than 3000 people a week.
The local rugby league, soccer, athletics, touch football and rugby union clubs all call the grounds “home”. Upgrades to the Katherine Showground and Multi-Purpose Centre include roads, rodeo and campdraft infrastructure, amenities, air-conditioning, water, power and sewerage connections. The showground redevelopment is supporting four Katherine businesses and 20 local jobs.
“The works ensure the community will have modern and updated facilities we can all enjoy.” The Katherine Town Council acknowledges the funding and assistance from the Northern Territory Government for the planning of the projects. TQ