A SPECIAL piece of hinterland heaven is set to receive a multi-million dollar makeover in a Sunshine Coast Council redevelopment plan.
The main buildings at Maleny's Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve require extensive work to meet the functional and safety needs of the 90 volunteers, guides, researchers and on-site staff.
The renewal would also improve the experience of visitors through a revamped learning centre and improvements to cafe and retail facilities.
Division 5 councillor Jenny McKay said the redevelopment would complement the existing design and not extend beyond the current built footprint.
"The building inspection of the current facilities indicate there is extensive work required for the current structure," Cr McKay said.
"It will be a meeting space, a tea-house and coffee facility and it will create an interpretive environmental space for people to go and learn."
Some concerns have been raised over the size of the new eating facility, but Cr McKay said it would not be a restaurant, but a small eatery.
"There will be no restaurant there, it is a tea-house similar to the wonderful service we have there now," she said.
"It's definitely not a wedding or party venue and when the sun goes down over the Glass House Mountains the lights go off on the reserve.
"It will not be in conflict with any other facilities we already pride ourselves in having on the Range."
Cr McKay said people visit the reserve to picnic or barbecue, have a coffee, cold drink or light meal and enjoy nature and the views.
She said the new facilities would cater to these needs.
The Maleny Chamber of Commerce president Nathan Arrowsmith said the chamber welcomed the investment in the infrastructure which they agreed needs upgrading.
"We are pleased to hear the council is taking the environmental impact of the upgrade seriously to protect the rainforest and the associated view," Mr Arrowsmith said.
"We were also happy they are looking to keep it similar to the current format.
"There were a number of options on the table to begin with and council has taken the middle ground, a reasonable course of action."
Cr McKay said the council is seeking your comments before making a decision on the way forward and the design concepts.
The council will make a decision early next year and construction is set to begin in the next 12 months.
For more information, visit mary-cairncross.com.au.
The council estimates the revamp will cost between $3 and $5.5 million
The Reserve comprises 55 hectares of National Estate listed subtropical rainforest overlooking the Glasshouse Mountains
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