Official Opening - Clarence Reardon Centre

Springvale Botanical Cemetery’s new $12.9 million function and administration facility, The Clarence Reardon Centre, was officially opened on Thursday 11 September, 2014 at 5pm.

Constructed by the Southern Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust (SMCT) to meet the ever-growing needs of the community, this state-of-the-art, carbon neutral complex incorporates seven botanically inspired function rooms, a commercial kitchen, a groundbreaking al fresco café-florist concept and a children's playground. The first floor is now SMCT's principal headquarters.

It is a world-class facility and one of the largest investment projects undertaken by the Trust.

Mr. Jonathan Tribe, CEO, SMCT said, “In all our planning, and especially with such a significant investment, it is critical that we take a very long term view. We are investing for the future and our planning horizon sits 50 to 100 years ahead of current needs. Comprehensive research and analysis on future community needs is an important part of our process.”

Significantly, the centre has been named in honour of Clarence Reardon, who was Springvale Botanical Cemetery’s first interment on 20 March 1902, aged 7 months. Mr. Tribe said, “Naming our new centre in honour of Clarence Reardon is reflective of the importance we place on every loved one entrusted into our care and is symbolic of our role as custodians of history.

The environmentally sensitive building was designed to blend in seamlessly with Springvale Botanical Cemetery’s expansive gardens, with surrounding trees dramatically reflected in its specially treated glass façade.

A leading-edge example of sustainable design, features include environmentally preferred building materials, rainwater tanks, the extensive use of solar panels and natural light and high-efficiency air-conditioning units complemented by natural ventilation.

The ground floor serves client families with seven stylishly appointed function rooms and a fully equipped commercial kitchen to service the multi-cultural catering requirements of both Springvale Botanical Cemetery and Bunurong Memorial Park. Streamlined back-of-house operations were planned and executed to cater for up to 1500 people per day and to provide a flexible, rapid response to numbers that often fluctuate.

Each function room accommodates up to 50 guests and can combine with adjoining rooms to accommodate large gatherings. All feature digital signage, iPod functionality and wall mounted 50” flat screens.

The centre also incorporates a contemporary café -florist concept, Café Vita et flores (life and flowers), complete with al fresco dining deck and a children’s playground.

The incorporation of training facilities allows SMCT to bring many of their specialist customer service programs and workplace health and safety training in-house.

To further enhance the customer experience, Springvale’s existing café and function centre will be re-developed as a new state-of-the-art client services centre.