Hall facing an uncertain future

Another West Otago hall may face closure unless a funding boost can be found.

Following a community decision to demolish the district’s 65-year-old Dunrobin Hall in October last year, Waikoikoi Public Hall — about 30km to the southwest — may be next for the chop.

Hall committee secretary Geoff Stark said an annual meeting tonight would be critical in deciding the 62-year-old facility’s future.

"At the moment we’re sitting on the borderline financially, and we want to see what the community thinks.

"Is there the support here to help with fundraising, or are people going, ‘To heck with the hall. We don’t need it’?"

He said the hall had suffered from declining use for several years which, combined with rising electricity costs, meant overheads now exceeded income.

 Waikoikoi Public Hall secretary Geoff Stark says unsustainable running costs may force the...
Waikoikoi Public Hall secretary Geoff Stark says unsustainable running costs may force the closure of the rural West Otago facility. PHOTO: RICHARD DAVISON

"There’s little in the way of reserves, and improvements to the main hall heating meant we had to move to a commercial rate for power, which has really stuffed our costs.

"We need money to actually keep it going."

Although clubs including indoor shooting, badminton, bowls, drama and Young Farmers used to keep the hall accounts buoyant, nowadays only two groups used it regularly, he said.

"It just reflects a change in society at large. People have so many options today and, if you need a hall, there’s Tapanui 10 minutes away."

Mr Stark said he and others would be "disappointed" to see the hall demolished, and would prefer it were repurposed if the community decided to wind up its civic service.

Last year it received a 60% NBS seismic safety rating as part of a district-wide review.

"It’s a fairly sound structure with good bones. Maybe somebody would want to change it into a house?"

He encouraged local residents to attend the hall’s annual meeting, at 7.30 tonight.

"We’re ready to hear any bright ideas."

 

Add a Comment

ev-and-hybrid-banner-updated_0.jpg

 

Advertisement

postanote_header_620_x_80.png

postanote_620_x_25.jpg

Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter