The City of Fremantle has announced not-for-profit organisation DADAA as the new tenant for Fremantle’s historic Old Boys’ School.
The 162-year-old heritage-listed building was one of the earliest government-built education constructions in Western Australia, beginning life as a single-room school in 1854. It is now owned by the state and vested to the City of Fremantle.
DADAA (Disability in the Arts, Disadvantage in the Arts WA) facilitates cultural engagement through participation in the arts for people with a disability or mental health issues, and was chosen for the lease ahead of 11 other applicants.
“They are 100 per cent community focused, have a very strong connection with the Fremantle arts and culture scene, and have demonstrated their commitment to activating the building and the local area with a variety of uses for everyone to get involved in,” he said.
“DADAA is a professionally run organisation with a financially sustainable operating model, which was another key consideration in their selection.”
DADAA is currently located on Beech Street in Fremantle, and executive director David Doyle said the organisation was looking forward to moving into the heart of Fremantle.
“It’s not often a space as historically and culturally significant as this is available for lease,” he said.
“Relocating to the centrally located Old Boy’s School offers DADAA and our partners a great opportunity to make a positive impact on the needs of local residents of all ages and abilities through our arts and health-based programs.”
DADAA intends to provide a fully accessible community arts and cultural hub listing a cinema, arts programs as well as a communal print studio and band facilities as some of the uses it has planned for the building.
Subject to the Fremantle Council approving details of the lease, the not-for-profit will move into the building later this year once the final stages of the $2 million heritage restoration works are completed.
DADAA also operates out of hubs in Midland and Lancelin.
Former tenant The Film and Television Institute of WA vacated the building amid restoration work in 2014, and decided not to renew its lease.
In November 2015, the city called for public proposals to lease the building.