AN exciting new chapter in the life and times of the Denman Memorial Hall is set to begin.
After nine months of painstaking restoration and rebuilding work, Muswellbrook Shire Council will officially reopen the premises on Friday, August 2.
The hall will also be rededicated at this time.
First built in the early 1900s, the hall was destroyed by fire in 1928, rebuilt on the same site in 1929 and destroyed by fire again in 2015, when the interior of the building was extensively damaged.
Fortunately, the exterior remained structurally sound.
Originally known as Day's Hall, it was renamed and dedicated as the Denman Memorial Hall in 1929 in honour of the soldiers who did not return from World War I.
Built then in a design known as Federation Free-Style, it also served as the town's principal meeting place.
Having hosted many weddings, debutante balls, parties, school concerts and Denman's picture theatre, the venue has been sorely missed by the community.
Hence the restoration of the hall will re-establish an important venue for community, social and entertainment events.
The new design enhances the building without detracting from its heritage values.
Built to a high-standard the building is fully air-conditioned and includes the addition of a bar, back of house area, retractable tiered seating and cinema projection facilities.
A range of sustainable initiatives have been introduced to the multi-purpose building including straw bale wall construction, use of recycled materials and a large photo-voltaic installation on the reconstructed roof.
Materials include reclaimed stone, textured render and reclaimed timber.
The original plaque, first dedicated on October 30, 1929, has been restored and will be re-dedicated at the official opening and the original cinema projector is on permanent display.
It is interesting to note that Messrs. Treasure and Edwards, building contractors from Maitland, estimated a cost of £3000, with furnishings, to build the hall in 1929.
Today, the cost to restore the hall is close to $2.5 million.
Council will also host a community open day in early August where everyone is welcome to view the new-look Denman Memorial Hall.