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Enhancing our Heritage

Four projects enabling important restorations and improvements at the Convent are underway thanks to funding added to Convent Foundation investment from the Federal Department of Industry, Science and Resources’ Australian Heritage Grants.  

1.   Convent Building Carpets
In January, the old and worn carpet throughout the high-use Convent building was replaced. The new carpet has given the 123-year-old building a new lease on life and upgrades the spaces for the 90 tenants whose studios are in the Convent building. As part of this project, we have also replaced the carpet in the much-loved Breakfast Parlour, that hosts over 250 bookings a year from a diverse group including not for profits, corporates, associations, community groups and conference organisers. 

2.  Fire Protection Testing – St Mary’s, Providence, Mercator and St Euphrasia buildings
Installation of fire sprinkler systems is standard as part of Heritage Victoria minimum standards, making planning for fire protection works at the Convent the highest priority. An investigation into the costing, timeframes and infrastructure requirements of new sprinkler systems in four high-use buildings – St Mary’s, Providence, Mercator and St Euphrasia buildings has now been completed. Home to fifteen tenants, including a school with 180 students, these buildings bring a diverse and vibrant mix of people to the precinct.  

3.  Water Tank Repairs
Repairs of the fifteen water tanks that service the Convent’s 6.8 hectares of green space have begun and are scheduled for completion by the end of April. These fifteen tanks provide 31,500 litres of water for our gardens, and these essential works will help future proof the tanks through realignment, repair of plumbing infrastructure, and reseating. Water quality is critical for the health of our heritage gardens, which require meticulous care and are highly used and valued by the public as a central aspect of the Convent experience.  

4.  Universal Access Works
Important accessibility works for The Store and the Industrial School have now entered final design phase. These venues are two of our most heavily used, featuring everything from conferences to rehearsals to multi-arts events, and these works will help ensure we can provide dignified access for all and ensure our diverse community is properly served. Planned works include a portable ramp at The Store, and installation of a permanent Universal Access-compliant ramp with automatic door in the Industrial School. These critical works are supported by low bono work from Williams Boag Architects.