Port Albert hall rebuild

THE damaged timber floor and sub-frame of the Port Albert Mechanics Institute Hall will be reinstated with the help of $65,000 in State Government funding.

The funding comes on top of a Wellington Shire Council commitment of $75,000 for the floor refurbishment project, which is expected to be completed by December.

Gippsland South MLA Peter Ryan said the project would see the removal of the existing damaged timber floor and construction of a new floor in accordance with an engineer’s design.

The floor and sub-floor will be reinstated and drainage remediated around the structure to ensure the community has a Port Albert functional meeting place.

“The works will restore the hall’s structural integrity and complement the extensive improvements the Committee of Management has made to the kitchen and storage areas,” Mr Ryan said.

“Ground and drainage works are also planned which will reduce the retention of water to the sub-floor area.”

Mr Ryan said replacing the Port Albert Mechanics Institute Hall’s floor had long been identified as a major priority for the local community.

“The hall is a popular venue for community and private functions including the Easter Regatta and Ball, shire meetings, markets, art shows, exercise classes and community afternoon teas,” he said.

“Having a safe and reliable floor system is essential to the effective management and operation of this well-used and historically significant building.”

In welcoming the government funding, acting Wellington Shire mayor Leo O’Brien said the works would secure the future of this building for years to come.

“Council is doing this work because it recognises that the Port Albert Hall is a much loved piece of local infrastructure which is used broadly by a range of community groups,” he said.

“It is a venue where the local community come together to celebrate, commemorate and enjoy each other’s company.

“Repairing the hall is a priority for council and council have been in ongoing and regular discussions with the community around this project.

“Council has made a commitment to fund the repairs in its draft 2012-2013 budget.

“Council staff will continue to liaise with the community throughout the delivery of the project once council has adopted the draft 2012-2013 budget.”

Council will formally meet to consider adoption of the draft 2012-2013 budget on Tuesday.