Anticipated upgrades to the Strathalbyn Town Hall are set to move forward, with Alexandrina Council allocating $422,900 to the project.
Construction of the Strathalbyn Town Hall, formerly Institute, was completed in 1874 by many of the township's pioneers. It then underwent further upgrades and re-modelling in 1939.
New works to upgrade the building will move forward in 2020-21 and involve the relocation of its kitchen with a new fully equipped fit out inclusive of bar facilities, the development of a dressing room and 'green room' including full fit out and the refurbishment of the building's supper room.
Additional upgrades will include the installation of a new stage sound system, LED lighting and ceiling fans.
The total cost of works is budgeted at $422,900, a figure previously allocated in Alexandrina Council's long term financial plan.
Plans for these upgrades have been in the works since 2016, when the council commenced preliminary project administration and engaged design consultants to provide a report and concept master plan, detailing deficiencies and fit-for-purpose infrastructure needs for the hall.
The relevant report mapped a timeframe and flexible '4 stage' design and construction plan, which included costing estimates for each stage.
In June 2017, the council resolved that stages 1 and 2, titled 'short term improvements and medium term improvements phase 1', be included in its long term financial plan.
Formal project works recommenced in July 2019 and the council have since engaged architects to provide detailed concepts, drawings and specifications, including construction value estimates.
Following these latest concept plans, estimated costs to completely revamp the hall increased by $530,000 to a total of $952,900.
As part of these designs, further potential upgrades to the hall were outlined, including the installation of a new accessible toilet in the green room; air conditioning in the green room and dressing room, as well as the provision of a platform lift for stage access and the installation of a move-able dividing wall in the supper room.
At Alexandrina's June 2020 council meeting, elected members were presented with a motion tabling three options for consideration in regards to the approval of upgrades to the hall.
Option 1 provided for the council to move forward with its initial upgrade plans, making use of the allocated budget of $422,900.
Option 2 allowed for a further $245,000 of works and Option 3 provided for an additional $530,000 of works, as per 2019 design plans.
Alexandrina's elected members voted unanimously in favour of pursuing Option 1, utilising the already allocated $422,900 budget for the project, providing for the most necessary upgrades to the hall.
Speaking during the council meeting, councillor James Stewart asked whether pursuing Option 1 would then allow for further upgrades to continue at a later date.
Chief executive officer Glen Rappensberg said Option 1 upgrades would provide a functional venue, while further upgrades would then require allocation in the council's long term financial plan.