Tenterfield Memorial Hall will be transformed from a cavernous, somewhat-tired, echoey space into a modern multi-purpose facility for major events, thanks to a state government Stronger Country Communities Fund grant just shy of a million dollars.
While the hall’s current use as a sports facility will be maintained (and enhanced), the aim is for the hall to accomodate larger gatherings than can be catered for at the 200-seat Tenterfield School of Arts. With the modern upgrade it’s hoped the facility will attract more convention-type events and major theatrical productions to town, bringing in more visitors.
Tenterfield Shire Council’s Economic Development Manager Harry Bolton said the million dollars sounds like a lot but will be quickly dispersed on new ablutions blocks (in an extension onto the eastern wall of the hall), retractable seating for 400 (also on the eastern wall), a mobile stage on the western wall with extra lighting and sound equipment, sound acoustic work, and air conditioning.
“Most people that use the building know that it can get very warm in the summer, so we’re looking at improving the air quality of the building, so that when people are in here they’re comfortable, and that will make it a more usable space for the community of Tenterfield,” Mr Bolton said.
There will also be some underground work will be done on the stormwater system, plus work on the floor to resand, redress and remark it. A new bar facility rounds out the list.
Watch Mr Bolton’s full description of the upgrade here...
Mr Bolton said council had been very conscious of not displacing existing users of the hall, such as the basketball club, RSL, Oracles of the Bush and Tenterfield Rotary Club with its Beerfest.
“All those organisations had input into the ideas,” he said, with feedback from other event organisers also taken into account.
The funding agreement requires the money to be spent within two years, but Mr Bolton hopes the hall upgrade will be completed and ready for use by the end of 2019.
“And it requires no money whatsoever from council, which is fantastic,” Mr Bolton said.
“We’re really appreciative of what the state government has done for us, not just for the hall but across the shire.”
The start of the project will be held off until March/April to accommodate some upcoming events in the early part of next year, but that does allow time for detail planning.