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.’’