Com­mu­nity fa­cil­ity im­proved with facelift

Seymour Telegraph - - NEWS - By Gus McCub­bing

Avenel Hall has re­ceived a ma­jor facelift and will now pro­vide lo­cal res­i­dents with im­proved spa­ces for com­mu­nity meet­ings and events, as well as a cre­ative space for dance and arts and crafts ac­tiv­i­ties.

The 100-year-old hall’s up­grade and ex­ten­sion in­cludes three new meet­ings rooms, a new kitchen, re­newal of the main toi­lets, in­stal­la­tion of a storm water sys­tem, as well as struc­tural im­prove­ments to the ex­ist­ing build­ing.

The $400 000 Avenel Hall project con­sisted of $300 000 fund­ing from the Vic­to­rian Gov­ern­ment’s Re­gional Jobs and In­fra­struc­ture Fund, as well as more than $100 000 from Strath­bo­gie Shire Coun­cil.

Strath­bo­gie Shire Coun­cil also separately funded the in­dent of the foot­path and carpark seal­ing in front of the hall.

The carpark, which was pre­vi­ously un­marked, has been made safer and more ac­ces­si­ble for hall users with clearly marked an­gle park­ing spa­ces, in­clud­ing dis­abled park­ing.

Shire of Strath­bo­gie Mayor Amanda McClaren said the new and im­proved hall is a fan­tas­tic dis­play of what can be achieved when there is a col­lec­tive ef­fort from the lo­cal com­mu­nity, Coun­cil and State Gov­ern­ment.

‘‘It is hugely sig­nif­i­cant for Avenel and the sur­round­ing district, pro­vid­ing a ma­jor draw card for the re­gion and a fan­tas­tic venue for events, gath­er­ings and the likes,’’ Cr McClaren said.

‘‘It will play an im­por­tant role in pro­mot­ing live­abil­ity and eco­nomic growth in the Strath­bo­gie Shire and re­gional Vic­to­ria.’’

Hughes Creek Ward Coun­cil­lor Mal­colm Lit­tle said the hall is en­trenched in 100 years of Avenel’s iden­tity and his­tory.

‘‘I am so glad we have been able to not only pre­serve the build­ing, but de­velop it into what is now a state-of-the-art fa­cil­ity that will sup­port Avenel for many years to come,’’ Cr Lit­tle said.

‘‘I look for­ward to see­ing a greater host of events and ac­tiv­i­ties of­fered in Avenel and the pos­i­tive so­cial out­comes for our com­mu­nity, in­clud­ing greater co­he­sion and con­nec­tiv­ity.’’

Mem­ber for North­ern Vic­to­ria Ja­clyn Symes joined Avenel com­mu­nity mem­bers yes­ter­day to of­fi­cially open the up­graded hall.

Ms Symes said the project has in­creased the foot­print of the Hall by about 25 per cent, as well as pro­vided en­ergy-ef­fi­cient fa­cil­i­ties and ad­di­tional spa­ces that can be used in­de­pen­dently of the main hall.

‘‘The hall has been an im­por­tant com­mu­nity hub for the res­i­dents of Avenel since 1907 when it was first con­structed, how­ever, age­ing in­fra­struc­ture and a grow­ing pop­u­la­tion meant it was due for an up­grade and La­bor has de­liv­ered,’’ Ms Symes said.

‘‘Avenel Hall has a rich his­tory, it’s a place that has kept the com­mu­nity con­nected and strong for over 100 years and this up­grade en­sures it pro­vides for the com­mu­nity for decades to come. The up­grade has re­sulted in a com­mu­nity fa­cil­ity that meets the cur­rent and fu­ture needs of Avenel, a small but steadily grow­ing town, and the sur­round­ing dis­tricts which it ser­vices.’’

Mem­ber for Euroa Steph Ryan said the Avenel Hall project has been a long time com­ing.

‘‘The com­mu­nity cen­tre is the heart of our town and the re­fur­bish­ment will ex­tend the life of the hall,’’ Ms Ryan said.

‘‘The com­ple­tion of the works is a credit to coun­cil and the com­mu­nity.’’

❝The hall has been an im­por­tant com­mu­nity hub for the res­i­dents of Avenel since 1907 when it was first con­structed . . .❞

Mem­ber for North­ern Vic­to­ria Ja­clyn Symes

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