In 2020, the City of Victor Harbor decided to consolidate the Visitor Information Center (VIC) and the SA Whale Centre.
This change will see the VIC and SA Whale Center operate from a single location at the Railway Goods Shed on Railway Terrace.
The old Railway Goods Shed has an important history in the town and became the headquarters of the SA Whale Center in 1994.
With the council expecting the redevelopment to be completed in 2021, unforeseen complexities have now meant the project will take longer than originally planned.
A spokesperson for Victor Harbor Town Council said that once completed, the change to visitor services will enable greater investment in online marketing of Victor Harbor as a desirable holiday destination, while facilitating the exceptional face-to-face visitor services provided by our passionate community. volunteers.
“These changes are expected to save money, eliminate duplication of services, increase our focus on promoting local tourism businesses and improve digital experiences,” said the gatekeeper. word.
“As part of this consolidation, significant development was required on the existing railway freight shed on Railway Terrace to ensure it can provide a modern and interpretive experience that meets the needs of the 1.2 million annual visitors. of Victor Harbor.”
The complexities and challenges now facing the project are the discovery of termite damage and a previously unknown water table perched beneath the building which required significant re-engineering to accommodate a new elevator shaft.
Other challenges have included building material supply, trades supply and COVID-19 related absences among all stakeholders.
Despite the problems encountered, a significant amount of work has already been completed and construction work continues to progress.
Visitor Services volunteers have received ongoing updates throughout the project, with the next Visitor Services staff and volunteer briefing scheduled for Wednesday, May 25, 2022.
A final completion schedule will be announced as soon as the determined council indicates it.
During the completion of the project, Visitor Services staff and volunteers will continue to serve the residents and visitors of the Coral Street Art Space.
“This exciting project will restore and celebrate this important asset,” the spokesperson said.
“It also complements other projects to improve the central tourist hub of Victor Harbor, including the recent redevelopment of Railway Plaza and upcoming streetscape improvements to Ocean Street/Albert Place as part of the upgrade. of the fourth leg of Mainstreet.
“The Railway Goods Shed has significant historical value and is cherished by the Victor Harbor community.”