Final modifications to the plans for the Tallarook Mechanics Institute Hall rebuild were finalised just prior to Christmas with building to begin in this year.
After the hall was destroyed by fire in 2018, Mitchell Shire Council approved the permit in October 2019 with plans now being finalised in accordance with the permit conditions to enable construction to start.
The modifications were signed off before Christmas, providing the green light for insurers.
Early works at the site have included removal of the old hall, dismantling of the chimney, storage of ceramic stacks and creation of a building site.
The rebuilt hall will include a more flexible use of internal space, improved accessibility including toilets, a semi-commercial kitchen, 18 car-parking spaces at the rear of the building and an updated septic system to meet modern building requirements.
Council has been working with the hall Committee of Management on the permit requirements, with the most recent meeting in early December.
The hall will pay tribute to the original facade, with a more contemporary look and feel following community input.
The design also incorporates the history of the hall, while including more flexibility and accessibility and creating an iconic building.
Mitchell Shire Mayor David Lowe said it was important to council the rebuild met the needs of the community now and into the future.
“While there has been a lot of work behind the scenes and we have seen early works on the site, the community will be pleased that works will be in full swing in the new year,” he said.
“We’ve been working closely with the Committee of Management, the architects, the insurers, the builders and council’s building, planning and public health teams to get to the point of building approval.
“This is an important step in the process for the insurers as they can now sign off the distribution of funds to the builders as a new hall takes shape.”
The hall is owned by Mitchell Shire Council and operated by a Committee of Management.
The hall will be rebuilt through council’s insurance company who has engaged Bay Builders and Imparta Engineers for the project.
Part of a $200,000 State Government grant has been used to engage Zen Architects to develop design plans and principles for the hall.