WITH significant fire damage, a lack of use and out-dated amenities the Denman Memorial Hall looked as good as gone in 2015.
But, it’s now recovering and set to be better than ever.
Another step was taken in its rebuild last Friday, when a “rendering event” took place at the facility, led by Muswellbrook Shire Council mayor Martin Rush and general manager Fiona Plesman.
While the exterior of the historic building will remain largely untouched, the inside is undergoing a major shake up with the new design turning it into a multi-purpose centre.
Cr Rush said he's excited for the future of the premises and believes it could become invaluable to the community in a number of ways.
“Towards the end, Denman Hall got very little use and a number of reasons contributed to this, including lack of climate control, the age of the hall, hall’s kitchen and other amenities, acoustics, and layout," he explained.
“The hall rebuild creates a much more multi-purpose space, which will cater to sit-down functions, performances with tiered seating, dance, community meetings, as well as operators of a small bar.
"It also has the potential in the future to include a community cinema.”
They are looking to make the hall extremely sustainable through the rebuild, and are thinking outside the box in terms of materials to ensure this.
“The auditorium space is constructed of rendered straw bales and the air pockets throughout the straw bales provide extremely high insulation to noise and heat, as well as fire resistance," Cr Rush said.
Muswellbrook Shire Council was keen to have children involved in the rendering event, which also included a barbeque dinner, and they quite literally made their mark on the building with approximately 130 kids gathering to leave their handprints on the earth-rendered wall.
The community icon is still a while off reopening but is set to give local groups a wonderful, modern setting to host events when it does.