Town icon set for demolition, green space to take its place
A MASSIVE price tag has come between one building and its ability to remain standing.
Gatton’s community is set to lose two of its icons in one fell swoop.
The Gatton Squash Courts building is set for demolition starting early February, which will see the loss of a much-loved mural of former schoolteacher Bob Fifoot.
Lockyer Valley Regional Council Asset Management Councillor Janice Holstein said it was unfortunate both icons needed to be removed.
She said public safety and responsible use of funds had directed the decision.
She said the council had been in contact with engineers, hoping to save the building and mural but accepted there were no viable options.
“Unfortunately, the construction methods and materials used at the time no longer provide appropriate stability and safety,” Ms Holstein said.
“The work required to repair the building would cost more than $850,000, compared to the $185,000 to demolish the buildings and create a green space.”
A large mural of local math teacher Bob Fifoot was painted on the western wall of the building as part of the RADF-funded First Coat Lockyer public art project undertaken in 2017.
Mural artist Claire Foxton selected and met with Mr Fifoot prior to commencing the artwork to ensure she captured his character.
Mayor Tanya Milligan met with Mr and Mrs Fifoot in June 2019 to discuss the likelihood of the building’s removal.
“Following demolition, the land will be turned into green space until a decision is made for the long-term use of the block,” Ms Milligan said.