Group wants decision reconsidered
A newly formed group of residents have come to together in attempt to have the decision to demolish the community hall and old kindergarten buildings on Orr Street rescinded.
At Moira Shire Council’s June ordinary meeting, council voted to endorse the Yarrawonga Library Steering Committees recommendation to proceed with the development option that involves the demolition of the community hall and old kindergarten building to make way for a new library and car park.
Spokesperson for the community action group Jeanette Wilson said they were concerned for the prosperity of the town hall if a commercial kitchen was not guaranteed as part of the redevelopment and refurbishment of the hall.
“As rate-payers we believe that Moira Shire Council should reconsider and overturn its resolution at the June meeting to proceed with the development of a new library at the Yarrawonga Town Hall Precinct as described in Option A,” Jeanette said.
Ms Wilson believes the survey itself could be regarded as push-polling as Options B and C involved locating the library inside the Town Hall.
“To do so would severely compromise the outstanding architectural merit of our 1930‘s Art Deco Hall. There are other options such as to build the new library on the old kindergarten site which covers a much larger area than the community hall and kitchen, and redevelop the latter when funds are available.
“Our objections are not to the building of a new library but to ramifications of the preferred site.
“As stated in Option A, there is no funding available or earmarked to replace the facilities to be demolished so the town hall could be left without a kitchen and separate dining area, or even without space to store chairs, stairs and trestles for some time.
“The town hall needs a well equipped kitchen with space to prepare and serve suppers, lunches or dinners.
“For example, the Yarrawonga Gala Ball and dance weekend held on the third Sunday in July attracts from 160 to 210 dancers from all over Victoria and interstate and is feted for its suppers and lunch served in the community hall.
“Kitchen facilities are required for debutante balls and other activities. The community hall is used by the Allegro Theatre Com- pany for change rooms, and was used to cater for the recent choral festival.
“No home owner would bulldoze their kitchen and dining room without clear finance and plans for replacement.” Stage 2 of Option A refers to the future refurbishment of the Yarrawonga Town Hall and is independent to library works and dependant on securing funding with an estimated cost of $1.9 million. There is no mention of a new commercial kitchen for this stage but even there was the community action group believes it would be difficult to include.
“There are neither architectural plans nor structural engineering computations to show the feasibility of locating a kitchen on the ground floor of the hall with easy access to hall,” Ms Wilson said.
“The electricals, a staircase and the men’s toilets are between the current shire service center and the auditorium, and the clock tower rises above the front portion of the building. On the other side there is the other staircase, a store room and the ladies toilet between the two meeting rooms and the auditorium, all with thick walls.
“The costs would be considerable and my fear is that once the community hall and kitch- en are gone, stage two will be put on the back burner. The council motion is quite clear that there is no funding for stage two.
“Also, a kitchen within the main hall building would not solve the issue of having a second large space to serve food or for smaller functions.”