Council took out two accolades at the 2017 Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia, Queensland (IPWEAQ) Excellence Awards, presented in October 2017.
Council collected the award for design and construction of public works projects $5 million to $10 million for the School of Arts building renewal project. The Shields Street Heart revitalisation project also received a high commendation for innovation from the judging panel.
The $8.69 million redevelopment of the heritage-listed School of Arts Building took twelve months with the works showcasing a mix of heritage and contemporary design to restore century-old building to its original beauty. Located in the heart of the Cairns city centre, the finished product is a tribute to the changing face of Cairns and has transformed an under-utilised building in the centre of Cairns into a fully functioning museum, along with commercial and retail tenancies.
The “City Centre Alive” Shields Street Heart projects have revitalised the Cairns city centre providing 56% more public space and promoting a walkable and pedestrian-friendly city. Contemporary lighting and public art celebrating Indigenous culture integrate throughout the streetscape, alongside Australia’s first permanent outdoor in-ground video projection. A grant program also assisted businesses to upgrade their shopfronts, complementing the new aesthetically pleasing, shaded, tropical space.
The annual IPWEAQ awards recognise councils and individuals who have demonstrated best practice and innovation in public works projects across Queensland. Winners in each category are selected by a judging panel of experienced public works professionals based on the project submission. The criteria addresses innovation but also stakeholder engagement and the contribution to the community and local economy.