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Council’s Christmas gift to Allora

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Taking on board feedback from members of the local community Southern Downs Regional Council has approved repairs to the Allora Community Hall, which has been out of action since structural problems were identified early in 2022.

The Allora Community Hall will be returned to a condition suitable for public use after Southern Downs Regional Council adopted a recommendation from its Manager – Community Services, Michael Bell, to accept a tender for the project.

In a report to Council, Mr Bell pointed out that while seven building contractors were invited to participate in the process, just one firm lodged an offer to complete the work.

The offer was submitted by Allstruct Pty Ltd, a company with headquarters at North Lakes, and a branch at Warwick.

SDRC has delegated authority to the Chief Executive Officer, David Burges, to enter into a contract with Allstruct to complete the remedial work at a cost of $221,495, with authorisation to approve any reasonable variations associated with the contract.

Council had originally set aside $150,000 in its budget for a project called “General Allora Community Facility Improvements – Painting Improvements to community facilities”.

Work proposed under this project included repairs to the Community Hall and refurbishing and fit-out of the former Allora Senior Citizens Centre to accommodate the relocation of the Allora Library.

However, in view of the need to ensure that the Community Hall is returned to a structurally sound condition that meets minimum compliance and safety standards the entire $150,000 and more will be needed for the Hall.

Mr Bell told the Council that an additional $150,000 should be allocated in the second quarter budget review to allow the completion of the remedial work at the Community Hall.

Under the proposed contract, the work should be completed no later than the 31st of May, 2024.

The work to be undertaken will be only what is necessary to restore the facility to a condition that is fit for public use.

There will be no enhancements to the Hall, nor will there be any work to address aesthetic issues.

At the Ordinary Meeting of Council, Cr Stephen Tancred wanted to confirm with the Manager Community Services that the work to be carried out was not a complete makeover.

Mr Bell confirmed that the repairs are based on safety and functionality.

Cr Jo McNally indicated that aesthetics may not be important to the community at this time.

“The community have been wanting to have their hall back for a long time,” she said.

“They’re well aware what it looks like – they just want to be able to use it again.”

Cr McNally said she’s pretty sure the Allora community would want to stage an event for local athlete Matthew Denny, who’s scheduled to compete at 2024 Olympics in Paris.

The motion to enable the contract for repairs to be put into effect was moved by Cr McNally and seconded by Cr Sheryl Windle.

The meeting carried the motion unanimously.

The remedial work to be undertaken will correct major deformations of the Hall’s roof structure and walls, which were identified in a report SDRC received in February this year from Osborn Consulting Engineers.

That report also identified some minor structural issues including floor framing “bounce” and external stormwater drainage issues.

However, it found that floor framing was found to be currently adequate if packed to fully support floor members.

‘Due to continual soil movement and therefore progressive movement of the stumps, the floors shall be continually monitored for bounce and packing provided to stumps as required,” Osborn’s report said.

The contract with Allstruct Pty Ltd will allow for new floor and coverings to the kitchen only

Allora Advertiser 20 December 2023

This article appeared in the Allora Advertiser, 20 December 2023.

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