New South Wales' largest licensed club, the Rooty Hill RSL, has started construction on a self-funded $100 million state-of-the-art theatre, built in large part from profits generated from pokies.
Designed by Cox Architecture, the Western Sydney Performing Arts Centre (WSPAC) will have a 2000-seat proscenium arch theatre will have the capacity to host world-class stage shows, musicals and concerts, as well as accommodate ballet companies and symphony orchestras.
The theatre has been billed as Western Sydney's answer to the Opera House, designed to create visual interest via it's "iconic exterior" presentation, which wraps around the development in a wave pattern.
Development plans revealed the auditorium will be a reconfigurable space to accommodate events requiring a stage and other functions and exhibitions better suited to a flat floor auditorium.
The building is to be constructed of precast concrete panels with a mixture of glazing and metal cladding in a vertical arrangement.
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WSPAC chief executive Richard Errington, who is spearheading the development, said a project of this size had never been undertaken before in Western Sydney and excitement is already growing.
“The time has come for Western Sydney to have its own cultural icon,” he said.
“We have brought together a team of leading architects, designers and engineers across the country to develop the vision for this world-class venue unlike anything else in Western Sydney.
“We can’t wait to share it with the community and watch it become a thriving hub for arts, culture and entertainment.”
Over the next few years, the WSPAC is expected to create hundreds of jobs across the construction, hospitality and entertainment industries.
Western Sydney is expected to draw more than a million visitors over the next decade, given its close proximity to the new international airport set to open in 2026, as well as the M7 and M4 motorways.
Plans for a five-star Pullman Hotel alongside WSPAC are also in place to accommodate this growth.
GWS chairman Tony Shepherd said he was excited about the opportunities that WSPAC will create for the community and is pleased to lend his support to the project.
“It is being built without a cent from the taxpayer and is providing the community with a facility it desperately wants and needs,” Shepherd said.
The project will be built by Australian construction company Hansen Yuncken.
Located on the corner of Sherbrooke Street and Francis Road in Rooty Hill the theatre is expected to reach completion in 2019.