Hall upgrade 'best thing to happen'

The refurbished Porepunkah Hall will have the capacity to act as a dedicated recovery centre in case of a bushfire.

Residents recently identified the Hall as the only building suitable for functions, community groups and public meetings in the town. But while it could be a safe haven in an emergency, Porepunkah residents hope the upgrade attracts new users and more local residents to the facility.

Porepunkah Hall Committee President John Simpson said the upgrade was a great community project

“We have wanted to do this for nearly ten years,” he said.

“It’s the best thing to happen to the hall in a long time. We wanted to use local tradies so they really got a sense of helping out the community and they have done a wonderful job. The toilet facilities and upgraded commercial standard kitchen really makes the hall better for its users.”

The project was a part of the State Government’s Community Building Initiative program. Funding came from the Victorian Community Support Grants Program ($80,000), Alpine Shire Council ($10,000), Macpherson Smith Community Alliance ($35,000) and Porepunkah Hall Committee of Management ($15,000).

Community Officer – Project Manager Drew Carey is overseeing the upgrade of a number of halls in the Alpine Shire. He says this project will greatly benefit the Porepunkah community.

“An extension to the building allowed us to install modern toilets,” he said.

“This also enabled us to increase storage capacity, improve access to the building and construct a disabled access ramp. This part of the upgrade is finished with only the planned upgrade to the kitchen to come. We plan to complete the project midway through July.

“Local trade people and materials were used for this project. The quality of the finished product would not have been possible without significant contributions from Jamie Armstrong, Craig Martin and several other trade people and suppliers.”

Alpine Shire Council is also helping upgrade a number of other halls. Works on the St Alban’s Hall in Running Creek is about 30% completed, construction of the Freeburgh Hall could begin in the coming weeks while the draft budget allocated $100,000 towards the Myrtleford Memorial Hall.

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