By Rhys Williams
Rutherglen’s historic Nuns convent could soon be transformed from a sacred place of worship to a vibrant space of hospitality and relaxation.
An application to develop Mt Carmel Convent on High Street, Rutherglen, has been submitted to Indigo Council and is currently on public display.
The submission by Habitat Planning details intent to convert the unused building into a restaurant, distillery, function centre, yoga studio and arts and crafts centre.
The development of the historic convent, which was an all-girls school and convent of the ‘Presentation Sisters’ from the 1920s to 1970s, is estimated to cost $200,000 and hopes to contribute towards the economic growth of the community.
“The proposed development is generally consistent with these strategies as it promotes economic growth and tourism via the establishment of a new commercial and tourist business, comprising a variety of commercial and community uses,” the application discloses.
“The proposal seeks to utilise and repurpose a heritage listed building and the property is located within a central urban location and could be considered as urban renewal and infill redevelopment, it further states.
“The development application plans to resurface the tennis court and convert it into a 77 space carpark, redevelop the science block and auditorium into a recreational facility for tai-chi and yoga and the library and classroom block repurposed as a café/restaurant.
“The proposed development includes general maintenance works and restoration on the exterior and interior and although the convent aims to be repurposed, it will still retain its heritage gothic style, the application affirms.
“The proposal seeks to utilise and repurpose a heritage listed building and the property is located within a central urban location and could be considered as urban renewal and infill redevelopment.”
“The development will also support community and cultural life as it will support tourism, as well as opportunities for small/start-up businesses and artists by giving them a space to operate within. This will provide an additional tourism product for Rutherglen and will add to the cultural diversity of the township.”
Plans for the project are accessible to the public at Indigo Council in Rutherglen until April 29.