Builders appointed for upgrades to youth centres in Victoria

Builders have been appointed for major upgrades to three community-based youth centres in Victoria.

Victorian Minister for Mental Health Gabrielle Williams announced the appointment of Bowden Corporation to refurbish and modernise the existing Youth Prevention and Recovery Care (YPARC) centres in Dandenong and Frankston, while Alchemy Construct will oversee upgrades to the Bendigo YPARC centre.

“The recovery environment is so critical to mental healthcare – we’re proud to be upgrading our YPARC facilities so young people feel safe, supported and at home while they are being cared for,” said Minister Williams.

Construction is about to get underway on the three centres, with the project including upgrades to the main lounge and living areas, kitchen, and outdoor areas – which incorporate barbecue spaces and a sensory courtyard.

Victoria’s Member for Frankston Paul Edbrooke said the upgrade to the Frankston centre is good news for the local community.

“This is an exciting upgrade for Frankston, we are looking forward to the refurbishment getting underway, and when completed we can provide more support for the young people in Frankston,” he said.

Designs for the upgrades were released in 2022 and revealed the facilities’ exterior, internal fit-outs and outdoor areas, with a focus on ensuring young people receive the treatment, care and support they need to recover in a safe, home-like environment.

Construction at all three sites will get underway in coming weeks and be completed in 2024. The centres will remain operational during construction, with works planned and managed to minimise impact to patients, staff and families.

The upgrades are part of a $141 million investment by the Victorian Government to more than double the capacity of the state’s current YPARC network with five new, 10-bed YPARC centres to be built in Ballarat, Greater Geelong, Greater Shepparton, Heidelberg and Traralgon – adding to the three existing centres.

Construction of the five new facilities and refurbishment of the three existing YPARC centres is set to support around 200 local construction jobs.

As a key recommendation from the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System, YPARC services provide around-the-clock clinical care for young people aged 16-25 experiencing mental health challenges – reducing pressure on hospital beds with early intervention care that offers an alternative to acute hospital admission.

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