Renovations on the Brungle Memorial Hall began last Tuesday, and Brungle Memorial Hall Committee Treasurer Cathy Purcell said the works are long overdue.
“I’m very excited, even though it’s disappointing to lose the old rooms, it has to happen,” she said.
“It’s been a long time coming, it was probably seven years or so ago that we first discovered that we needed to do it – and we’re finally getting it done, which is wonderful. Exciting times!”
The old hall has been around for 110 years, and is also used as a base for the Rural Fire Service. The renovations are being funded by the State Government Community Building Partnership Program and the Snowy Valleys Council.
The committee was one of 59 local groups that received a post-merger Stronger Communities grant from Administrator Paul Sullivan in November.
“We’re very grateful to those entities for that money,” said Ms Purcell.
“Without their assistance the project would not be able to go ahead. The Committee would also like to thank the builder Gordon Webb, and project manager Gary Mayes for all their assistance so far.”
Now that May has ticked around the works are well underway.
“We’ve demolished the supper room and kitchen and we’re building a new supper room and kitchen,” she said.
“It will be in a modern style. There’ll be a shower and two toilets, one disabled, and a storage room.”
Once the renovations are complete, the committee hopes to see the Brungle Hall being used more than it is currently, as it will have a greater capacity for functions. They expect works to be completed in a couple of months or so.
Meanwhile, new play equipment has also been installed in Brungle, also funded by the Stronger Communities grants. The playground was opened at the start of March, and Brungle Recreation Reserve Trust member David McGruer said it’s already been widely used.
“There’s generally a few kids about down there, I’ve got four grandkids of my own that I’ve taken down there two or three times,” he said.
“It’s just a simple thing, a couple of slippery dips, a climbing wall, a couple of swings – but Brungle’s only a small place itself mind you.
“It’s in a little area with a border around it and there’s 30m of softwood in there; bark so the kids don’t hurt themselves.”
The third Brungle group to benefit from the Stronger Communities grants was the Brungle-Tumut Local Aboriginal Land Council, who received a grant to go towards the 50th Anniversary of the Aboriginal Referendum celebrations, the vote that gave Indigenous people the right to vote and be counted as citizens.
That will take place on May 27.