How extensive will the renovation be?

    We are proposing a minor renovation that will retain the unique character of Drabble House but upgrade some of the old and deteriorated assets to improve the amenity and comfort of the building for everyone that uses it.

    We know that Drabble House is well used and well loved, and want it to be accessible for everybody to enjoy. 

    What changes are proposed?

    Whilst we will keep it’s key unique features we plan to do the following:

    Structural changes

    • Upgrade the toilets along with adding a larger toilet facility that is suitable for people with disability.  
    • The ramp into the building is really old and falling apart and doesn’t comply with today’s accessibility standards.  We’ll also be replacing this.
    • Ensure all the doorways are suitable for everyone to have safe and suitable access to the building.
    • Upgrade the kitchen.  Whilst the kitchen has some really unique features, the bench tops and cupboards are in a really poor condition due to their age and are falling apart.  We plan on fixing up the window, putting in new flooring and replacing all the old worn kitchen components that have reached their end of life.
    • Improving the main rooms and adding some new features to improve the comfort.  We plan to keep all the main existing features of the main rooms but patch up the walls and ceilings, re-paint and varnish, replace the carpets and install air conditioning for effective heating and cooling all year round.
    • Renovating areas at the back of the building to provide secure and suitable storage for our regular users. 
    • Improvements throughout include fixing up the exterior of the building where it is deteriorating and swapping out lights for LEDs that last longer and use much less electricity.

    Do you have a say in what happens?

    Yes!  The City is seeking your feedback to help plan the changes and when/how they will be carried out to ensure we make the right changes and can undertake the work with as little disruption to everyone as possible.

    Do you use the facility regularly and store any equipment there?  Make sure you answer the questions about your storage needs, how the closure will affect you and what you will need to continue your activities whilst the works take place, and tell us any ideas you have for any additions or changes to the works that are proposed.

    Please complete the online survey to enable the City to consider your suggestions. Efforts will be made and to accommodate everyone’s needs where possible.

    Will the building be open while the works occur?

    The building will need to be closed for the majority of the works, which are anticipated to take a couple of months – depending on the final specifications for the project.

    It is important that you complete the online survey to tell us about your activities and what your needs are. This will enable us to gauge how much notice the City needs to provide you and to find  alternative suitable accommodation during the closure. 

    Start dates are will not be planned until we know everyone’s needs to ensure the works are planned and undertaken with as little disruption as possible to people that use Drabble House regularly.

    What will happen to the piano?

    The piano will be stay in Drabble House and the City will continue to regularly maintain and tune it to ensure it is pitch perfect!

    It is undecided if it will be moved to a temporary location while the works take place.  The City also has a piano available at Dalkeith Hall for regular users, if needed while Drabble House is closed. If this option is not suitable, the City will look at options to re-locate the Drabble House piano so it can be used while the building is closed. Either way, great care will be taken to ensure this isn’t damaged during the works.

    Why is the piano important to the City and Drabble House users?

    The piano in Drabble House was donated to the City of Nedlands by the Collins family in the 1960s.

    Lucy and William Collins bought the burnt walnut Ronisch upright baby grand piano, probably before the First World War, from Snaddens in Stirling Highway, Nedlands. It was delivered to their house in Byford where their son Gordon learnt to play on it.

    William Collins was Chief Engineer of State Brickworks in Byford and died in the Second World War.  Lucy and Gordon moved, with the piano, to Smyth Road Nedlands. The piano then moved with Gordon to 31 Portland street, Nedlands where his daughter Caroline learnt to play on it.

    Who can I speak to if I have any concerns or want to ask more questions?

    The City’s Facilities Management Officer, Pollyanne Fisher, will be happy to discuss the project with you.  She can be contacted at or by calling 9273 3500.