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Shire of Dardanup Library, Administration and Community Building

The Shire of Dardanup’s newly constructed award-winning Library, Administration, and Community Building was opened to the public in March 2024.

Scheduled to become the new heart of municipal operations, the two-storey complex houses the Eaton Library, Council Chambers and Administration Centre, with the Café, and a state-of-the-art Make-It Space to open later this year.

A Civic Opening was held on Wednesday, 24 April 2024 followed by a Community Open Day on Saturday, 4 May, marking the culmination of an 11-year journey.

The $19.3 million project received two awards at the 2024 Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia (IPWEA) Awards for Best Public Works Project Greater than $5 million Award (Regional) and the Excellence in Environment and Sustainability Award.

The building is currently nominated for a 2024 National Awards for Local Government under the Productivity through Infrastructure category.



Q: What was the total timeline of initial concept to completion of building?

A: The entire project was an 11-year journey, from inception in 2013 to completion in March 2024. The actual construction phase took only 12 months..

Q: Why was a new building needed?

A: The agreement with Education Department for co-location of the Eaton Community Library with Eaton Community College ended, requiring a new library premises. The old Shire of Dardanup Administration Centre did not comply with modern-day building standards. Various options to upgrade or expand existing offices resulted in greater forecast expense than a new building proposal to construct a new purpose-built building in the longer term. Engagement with the community over time along with potential user groups of the new building identified the need for additional community facilities and flexible use spaces.


Q: What is happening with the old Shire Administration Building?

A: Citygate have acquired the land and building that the current (old) building is located. This building will eventually be demolished and development plans for the expansion of Eaton Fair Shopping Centre have been approved for the site.


Q: How does the layout of the building promote community interaction and engagement? 

A: The new Library, Administration and Community Building was developed to act as a central hub for Shire of Dardanup operations, community engagement and innovation. The complex acts as a precinct for digital culture and innovation, with the Make-It Space soon providing the resources and platform to support STEAM innovation and education. The Eaton Library is now located in the Shire’s urban centre, adjacent to the largest shopping centre in the South West allowing better accessibility and convenience for the community. In future, the public will be able to hire and use ground floor meeting rooms and Make-It Space facilities outside the normal office hours.


Q: What was the total cost of the building and where did the money come from?

A: $19.3 million - includes everything, power, water, furniture, admin, overheads etc.

$16.5 million contract with Perkins Builders - includes $1 million for fixed contingences, $15.5 million for building itself.

The Make-It Space was funded entirely by grants from Wespine and Lotterywest.


Final contract came in within budget, with significant savings being returned to council.

The building was funded via three different steams: Council’s savings, land sale and future rates from City Gate’s expansion.


Q: Are there any plans for future expansion or development of the building?

A: As the Shire expands in future, the additional wing which will be leased to any prospective tenants, will allow the Shire to expand into this space in future, if required.


Q: What resources and services will be available in the Make-It Space when it opens later in the year?



  • STEAM education items such as 3D printers and scanners, laser cutters to sewing machines and overlockers
  • Media and podcast studio
  • E-Sports and gaming design
  • CAD and design work areas
  • CNC laser cutters and engravers
  • Plus, all the supportive equipment with power, industrial mobile work benches, noticeboards, whiteboards, even joining and mechanical tools!


  • Facilitated workshops
  • Mentor programs,
  • Professional demonstrations
  • Community bookings.


Q: When will the Make-It Space be opened and available for the general public/community groups to book?


  • The Make-It Space is in the final build and installation stage and not yet kitted out with equipment.
  • Once that is completed there will be an announcement on the Shire’s website and socials that it is available for bookings.
  • The expected finish date of this installation is July 2024, pending all the equipment arriving on time.


There are several facilities and amenities for both staff and community.

Administration: Reception and Administration services are located on the ground floor of the new building. Council facilities required such as Chambers, and office space for Councillors are also located on the ground floor. Shire of Dardanup offices and additional leasable office space is located on Level 1 of the building.  

Eaton Library: The Library and Shire Administration are housed in the same building for the first time in Shire of Dardanup history. The Library also features a courtyard with an outdoor play area for children, patron seating and a shared alfresco area with the café hub.

Café: Café facilities are located in the Library for community and staff. The Café will open later in 2024.

Meeting rooms: Three meeting rooms located on the ground floor will be available for community and staff to book in the coming months. The meeting rooms are named after the timber feature walls located throughout the building, Yarri, Marri and Jarrah. FUN FACT – all the timber used to make feature walls throughout the building was donated by Wellington Mill.  

Make-It Space: The state-of-the-art community Make-It Space will be located on the ground floor. The Make-It Space will be a cutting-edge and imaginative community space that fosters STEAM education, innovation and community involvement. The facility will open later in the year as a collaborative workspace for making, creating, learning, exploring and sharing, by providing access to the latest tools, materials, and resources for all community members.



The Shire of Dardanup Library, Administration and Community Building project was developed in alignment with the Shire's 2050 Vision, emphasising innovative, sustainable building design and development practices. 

Council recognised the need to minimise its carbon footprint and reduce construction time, thereby adopting a Wood Encouragement Policy in 2016.

The delivery of four community buildings including the new Administration Centre to be predominantly timber constructed to meet Council’ Wood Encouragement Policy was an opportunity and a challenge for the Shire.

The decision to construct 100% fully Timber buildings for the R&J Fishwick Pavilion, Wells Reserve Change Rooms, and the new Library, Administration, and Community Building, with the Eaton Bowling Club being 90% timber, reflects a commitment to both sustainability and the region's rich timber heritage.

The choice to construct timber buildings is also significant due to the region's rich heritage associated with the timber industry. Dating back to the early 1900s at Wellington Mills, the Shire's historical connection with timber forms an integral part of its identity. There are also key timber industries forming part of the Shire’s economic base and the leadership Council is demonstrating helps to drive increased economic opportunities for the timber construction industry.

Despite economic challenges in recent years, including disrupted timber supplies and increased construction industry demand, Council adhered to its original vision of a 100% timber and/or mass timber buildings. This not only fulfills environmental goals but also reflects the Shire's commitment to sustainable building materials and supporting our well-established timber industry.

New Library, Administration and Community Building

The project aimed to deliver a landmark and flexible, yet functional building that demonstrates and celebrates the potential of structural timber, sustainable building practices and technology in multi-storey commercial buildings. The design concept was for a modern two-storey building of 3,039m2 (gross floor area) clad predominantly in Colourbond Fielders, jarrah and charred jarrah timber as accents. The structure is essentially a mass timber structure made with CLT columns and beams, timber floor cassettes and light timber wall framing.  The ground floor material is predominantly a polished concrete for easy, high wearing maintenance, with carpets to offices and Council Chamber. The upper floor cantilevers over the fully glazed ground floor, providing shading to the full height glass. 

A mass timber building on a concrete slab to meet the Wood Encouragement policy requirements. The building will create a vibrant community hub with a distinctive identity and sense of destination. The building design allows for diverse and adaptably spaces, allowing for the Shire’s operational expansion requirements in the long term, and cater for other commercial uses should the Shire wish to vacate/sell the building.

Other sustainable features of the building:

  • The design of the building ensures that the Timbers thermal and energy-efficiency properties are maximised. This ensures that the building is able to meet know energy construction standards while consuming minimal non-renewable energy.


  • Timber building materials store vast amounts of carbon this means timber construction benefits the environment by cutting down carbon emissions by substituting carbon-intensive materials such as steel and concrete.


  • Solar panels have been installed to harness renewable energy from the sun and reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the removal of fossil fuel powered energy needs. Solar energy also significantly reduces energy bills and has low maintenance costs.


The journey to Library, Administration and Community Building began in 2013 after Council identified the need to expand and upgrade the Administration Centre, Eaton as the current building does not comply with current Australian standards and Building Codes.

To read more about the background of this 11-year project head to The journey to our Vision for a modern Library, Administration & Community building » Shire of Dardanup.