Friday, July 26, 2024

$7m community space officially opens in Trentham

The Mechanics Trentham has been officially opened today by Hepburn Shire Council Mayor, Brian Hood, Member for Macedon, Mary-Anne Thomas and Member for Ballarat, Catherine King.

The Council says the new state-of-the-art facility embraces the needs of the whole community, with playgroup space, a library and study nooks, workspaces, visitor information, a commercial-style kitchen, and a function space for 245 people standing or 180 seated.

Mayor Hood acknowledged that the key project has been a major investment for Trentham and surrounds, which was borne of a 2013 review of local facilities.

“I’m thrilled to see the newly completed building open. We are very grateful for the funding from both state and federal governments, and the dedication of Council, its Officers, and the community-based Project Advisory Group who worked together on this wonderfully progressive design,” said the Mayor.

“It incorporates highly flexible spaces that cater to a wide range of groups and events.

“The success of the project can in great part be attributed to extensive consultation between Council and the community of Trentham,” he said.

The new space incorporates elements of the original building, which date to the late 1800s, and remain as an integral piece of the town’s history. The restored former hall will serve as the new library, a fitting nod to the function of Mechanics buildings through the formative years of many communities. Works required tree removal, sewer realignment and removal of asbestos. The extensive completed building achieves energy efficiency and draws its beautiful natural surrounds in through large picture windows. Ample on-site parking is at the rear of the building along with an electric vehicle charging station.

The opening ceremony featured the unveiling of a magnificent piece of Indigenous artwork, a series of purpose-made fish traps created by Aunty Marilyne Nicholls. In keeping with the water theme, the meeting rooms are named after local rivers and feature nameplates in both English and Dja Dja Wurrung languages.

“It’s been amazing to watch this building being constructed and its official opening is an exciting day for the Trentham community,” said Minister King.

“The thoughtfully designed and fit for purpose building brings together crucial services that people can use everyday and provides space for community members to connect. It is a community centre that Trentham can be very proud of.” 

Trentham was greatly affected during the devastating storm event of June 2021, when the town was without power for almost a week. The new building has a back-up generator to service the community in case of a power outage. It will ensure the building, which would be capable of being designated as an Emergency Relief Centre, can keep operating, Council said in a statement.

Community groups and clubs, members of the public and Council representatives celebrated the opening with a smoking ceremony and Welcome to Country, catering, music, representation by community groups and clubs, and activities for children. 

The Victorian Government through Regional Development Victoria provided $3.5 million through the Regional Infrastructure Fund and $500,000 through the Living Libraries Program, with $1.1 million from the Federal Government’s Local Roads and Community Infrastructure grant, and a $2.35 million contribution from Council.

“Trentham is home to a wonderful community, and I’m pleased to see that people now have access to the services and facilities they need to thrive, under a single roof,” said Minister Thomas.

“The Mechanics Trentham was designed by and for the community, and I look forward to seeing it put to good use.”

The Mechanics Trentham will also be available to hire.

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