Push to reopen damaged hall

Pennyroyal community members want Colac Otway Shire Council to support them in their efforts to restore the Pennyroyal Public Hall.

The Pennyroyal community is imploring Colac Otway Shire Council to help them reopen the dilapidated Pennyroyal Hall.

The hall has been closed to the public after inspections found it needed extensive work to ensure public safety.

Pennyroyal Hall Committee secretary Jen Bush said council had estimated the cost of restoring the hall at $250,000 to $350,000, but the committee claims a restoration would cost far less.

“We continue to disagree with Colac Otway Shire Council in regards to the cost of the rectification who initially put the project cost at $250,000 and then bumped this to $350,000,” she said.

“To have a complete rectification of this hall back to its original state will cost considerably less than the commercial cost of $100,000 without considering in-kind donation of time, effort or materials.

“This includes project management from a commercial builder, electricity reconnection, servicing of existing septic system, engineer and surveyor costs.”

“We believe that minimal stumping will need replacing and maintain that the sprung floor was built for dances and will be retained.”

Damage to the building includes a collapsed ceiling.

The council said it received an $11,233 insurance payout for the ceiling and is holding the money until it reaches a decision on the hall.

The council’s acting chief Tony McGann said the council had been doing a thorough investigation into the hall before any restoration work.

“The estimate of $315,000 includes only the renewal of dilapidated components of the structure and has been verbally verified by a quantity surveyor,” Mr McGann said.

For the full story see today’s Colac Herald.

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