Slade Mooted as Civic Centre Site ,CySlade Must Be Put Aside for the Future'; Community Group Vows to Lodge Expression of Interest to Keep It in Their Hands

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Byline: GERARD WALSH and JEREMY SOLLARS

A NEW community action group has resolved to lodge an expression of interest to buy the former Slade School campus and say it could be a potential site for a town civic centre.

Ian Perkins has been elected to head the Slade Lives Again Development for Everyone (SLADE) group which wants to keep the Slade School for community use.

Mr Perkins has a vision for the Slade site that could well be an integration of community, local government, state government and maybe even education.

C[pounds sterling]We plan to develop a process to make this happen,C[yen] he said.

C[pounds sterling]The SLADE group hasn't even pushed fundraising and already 20 people have offered to donate $1000 each.C[yen]

The group is applying to be incorporated and has resolved to put in an expression of interest for Slade by the closing date of March 16.

C[pounds sterling]We have been told by the council CEO that there is no need to have dollars attached to the expression of interest,C[yen] he said.

C[pounds sterling]Under our proposal, I would expect the community would raise as much as possible. It could be a combination of owners, which could be the council, and users.C[yen]

Mr Perkins said some councillors had told them if they presented a reasonable case, they would look at it.

C[pounds sterling]Councillors have said that one day Warwick will need a civic/convention centre Co Slade School is a significant possibility for the centre,C[yen] Mr Perkins said.

C[pounds sterling]There are a whole lot of possible multi uses for Slade. Schools without a manual arts centre could rent/lease the one at Slade.C[yen]

He said the group wanted to keep Mayhew Oval as valuable open space.

C[pounds sterling]The oval could be used for sport, markets, fairs, festivals and community activities,C[yen] Mr Perkins said.

C[pounds sterling]We have talked to a number of Warwick businessmen who are happy to help and committed to keeping the facility in the hands of the community.C[yen]

The SLADE group leader said it made much more sense for the Southern Downs Regional Council (SDRC) to sell other land and buildings that don't have an immediate community use like Slade. …