Recent and planned improvements to Narooma’s School of Arts building that houses the Kinema, largely funded by NSW Government grants, impressed Member for Bega and NSW Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Andrew Constance during his visit to Narooma last Friday.
The School of Arts management committee secured $197,439 from the NSW Government in three separate grants towards the much-needed work, with Mr Constance’s support.
He said the grants would help the committee revitalise “the iconic School of Arts Hall” and improve the community’s access to arts and cultural activities, as well as conserve and protect Narooma’s heritage.
Committee members showed Mr Constance, accompanied by Eurobodalla Shire mayor Liz Innes and Eurobodalla acting general manager Lindsay Usher, the renovated art deco toilets and the recently installed early smoke and fire detection systems.
Committee members then outlined the next stage of work, to be completed by Easter, which includes repairs and repainting of the exterior, restoration of the four granite plaques on the front façade, and construction of a wrap-around awning at the front to ease congestion in the foyer.
“Work on the Memorial Hall will also ensure it continues as a safe, accessible and sustainable regional arts and cultural venue well into the future, and ensure its conservation,” said hall project manager Laurelle Pacey.
The community-owned hall was built in 1925 as Narooma’s multi-purpose community venue and the town’s memorial to the district’s soldiers who fought in the First World War. It was officially opened in 1926.
It was extended in the early 1930s and again in 1955, but the original building remains fairly intact. Further work will be done later in this year to facilitate future live performances.
The committee leases the School of Arts Hall to independent operators, John and Janette Griffiths who run the Kinema.
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