Council will hold a community workshop next month to consider the future of the Cooroy Memorial Hall.
At last night’s Ordinary Meeting, Council agreed to take over from Cooroy RSL as trustee of the Hall. The Hall has been closed for some time because of safety concerns.
Mayor Tony Wellington is calling on residents to join councillors and Council staff at the brainstorming session.
“Restoring the Hall is certainly an option,” Cr Wellington said. “But if the community decides the land could be better used, perhaps as a memorial park or a playground, then we’ll happily look at those ideas too.”
“A recent building inspection revealed that we’d need to spend around $400,000 on the hall just to get it to a safe condition,” the Mayor said.
“To restore the building properly, and give Cooroy a hall it can truly be proud of, we’d need to spend between $800,000 and $1 million.”
Cr Frank Pardon also believes it is important that the community has a say on the Hall’s future.
“Let’s be honest, historically the Hall was an important part of the social life of Cooroy. But over the last few decades it hasn’t been properly maintained and it has been used less and less.
“If the cost to reopen it was $100,000 I wouldn’t blink. I’d say to Council ‘let’s fix it up and open the Hall as soon as possible’. But with the cost potentially up around the $1million mark, we need to think carefully about the Hall’s future. That’s why we need to find out what the community wants and be absolutely sure that there is a real need for the building,” Cr Pardon said.
The public workshop on Saturday, November 26, will start at 9.30 am. It will be held in the Cooroy State School hall, 59 Elm Street, Cooroy.
“We’ll start the workshop with a brief update and then residents can put forward their own ideas,” Cr Wellington said. “They can also discuss those concepts with councillors and Council staff. And if there are any would-be benefactors interested in helping get the hall open and operating, we’d love to hear from them.”
The community built Cooroy Memorial Hall in 1926 in memory of soldiers killed in the Great War.
Since 1979 the Cooroy RSL has been trustee of the Hall. In recent years it has fallen into a state of disrepair, and was closed in November 2015.
“Although there are some constraints regarding the use of both the land and the building, we are very keen to gauge what the Cooroy community’s priorities are. This is about Council working with residents to achieve the best possible outcome for everyone. The consultation process worked well with the Cooroy Butter Factory and I believe it can work for the Memorial Hall as well,” Mayor Wellington said.