Media release | 18 November 2021
A 138-year-old community hall on Crown land in the Southern Highlands has been given a new lease on life, with almost $100,000 in needed renovations.
The much-loved Robertson School of Arts Hall has served the local community since 1883 and is well-used for markets, fairs, school events, dance and gymnastic classes, music concerts, and even as an emergency gathering site.
It will continue to serve the community into the future after the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment’s Crown Reserves Improvement Fund helped rebuild the hall stage, asphalt seal the driveway, and conduct electrical work.
Robertson School of Arts Hall secretary John Johnston said it was the latest investment from the NSW Government which in recent years funded a new amenities block, fencing, front entry, stormwater pipes, concreting, and painting.
“We’ve received more than $772,000 in grants since 2016 from NSW Government agencies and Wingecarribee Shire Council, and the committee has contributed a further $97,000 to complete improvements to this wonderful historic building,” Mr Johnson said.
“The hall’s front underwent a revamp in 1939 but the assistance in recent years has enabled us to get the hall back to near original condition. Everyone in town is raving about how great it looks.”
Minister for Water, Property and Housing, Melinda Pavey said the Crown Reserves Improvement Fund assists communities across NSW to maintain and upgrade their much-loved local assets on Crown land.
“Crown land provides a home for many organisations and helps build community connections through facilities on them such as community halls, showgrounds, surf lifesaving clubs, scouts and girl guide groups, and PCYC clubs,” Mrs Pavey said.
Applications have now closed for the 2021-22 Crown Reserves Improvement Fund grants program, which will support NSW projects that that enhance the cultural, sporting and recreational life of hundreds of communities.