A computer-generated image of the Omarama Hall redevelopment. Image supplied.
Plans to redevelop the Omarama Memorial Hall into a $600,000
state-of-the-art community centre are to go ahead after the
Lotteries Grants Board awarded the Omarama Residents
Association a $290,000 grant.
Locals had been fundraising and applying for charitable
grants for the past three and a-half years, in order to
rebuild the 60-year-old hall. Omarama Residents Association
treasurer Glenys Dawson said the Lotteries grant would mean
the project could now be fully funded.
''We had $400,000 from various sources that we had raised
already and so this will take us to $690,000."
Mr. Dawson said the upgraded community centre would include a
gymnasium and a 50sq m extension to house a Plunket and
meeting room, and a medical consultation facility. It would
also have broadband internet facilities and would benefit the
whole community for many years to come.
The existing hall had been built in 1952 and was ''costing a
fortune'' in ongoing repairs and maintenance, she said.
''The outside structure is fine but we are going to move the
kitchen, upgrade all the plumbing, all the wiring, the
windows and re-line it, but also create an extended
consulting-type room that will be available for the doctor or
for someone to hire out.
''Everybody will benefit - it will be great. Even our local
school doesn't have a hall and gymnasium so they have to come
and use that too. The whole thing will be a benefit for the
wellbeing of our whole community."
Community consultation would take place before any building
workbegan, to ensure that some items from the original
building could be saved, Mr. Dawson said.
''There are quite a few memories there for locals so we are
doing a bit of consultation in the final fit-out to make sure
memories are kept."
Funding had already been provided by the Otago Community
Trust, Meridian Energy, the Alexander McMillan Trust and the
Waitaki District Council.