GALLERY: Dawn of a new era for The Hills Council

THE Hills councillors held their last meeting in the chambers at Castle Hill on Tuesday and former mayor Sonya Phillips was also there — to bid farewell to the building, she said.

‘‘I’m a sentimentalist,’’ Ms Phillips told the News.

Her presence in the chamber did not go unnoticed by our current mayor Michelle Byrne who said hello during proceedings.

The council building site — on the corner of Showground and Carrington roads — was compulsorily acquired by the NSW government to make way for North West Rail Link’s Showground station and the building itself will become a project office during construction of Showground station.

Click here to read more about the North West Rail Link.

The Castle Hill council building was opened in 1982 by then NSW Premier Neville Wran.

Since then, 13 mayors and shire presidents have sat in the mayoral chair now occupied by Cr Byrne.

‘‘These chambers have been the scene of many heated debates,’’ Cr Byrne said in a mayoral minute.

Read Mayor Byrne's Mayoral Minute.

‘‘Most of the time, councillors were motivated by what they firmly believed was best for The Hills," Cr Byrne said.

‘‘As for myself, this is where I began working as a councillor when I was elected in 2008.’’

NSW Governor Marie Bashir will officially open the council’s new chambers and administration centre at 3 Columbia Court, Baulkham Hills (next to the Crowne Plaza) on Sunday.

“We’ve been planning this move for around two years now,’’ Cr Byrne said.

Click here to read more about the Columbia Court location.

“One of the things I’m really proud of is the fact that we’ve been able to build a brand new, state-of-the-art kitchen for Hills Community Care and Meals on Wheels that will serve some of our most vulnerable community members and provide an excellent place for our volunteers to operate from," Cr Byrne said.

“As a result of the move we’ve also created place management teams, that look after specific areas of the shire.’’

Two teams will be at Columbia Court.

Features of the new site include 648 car spaces, 15 motorbike and 120 bicycle spaces.

The building design has a 5 Star Green rating, the hot water system is solar-powered, and energy-efficient LED lighting, vertical green walls and plants are used throughout.

$20.5 million how much it cost to acquire the site of the new council administration centre

$32.865 million cost of construction, the fitout, furniture/equipment and consultants

Council opening hours over the holiday season: The new The Hills Council Chambers and administration centre at 3 Columbia Court, Norwest Business Park, Baulkham Hills, will be closed from December 25 to 27 and on January 1, but it will be business as usual on all other days.

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