Hall improvements in time for centenary celebrations
Pearl Beach community hall will get a new terrace and more storage space, in time for the 100-year celebrations next September.
The hall is owned and managed by Pearl Beach Progress Association, which has received a $66,000 grant from Central Coast Council to do the work.
The rear terrace will be extended with wider steps down to the garden, there will be a new steel-framed skillion roof, a storeroom and new covered timber walkway and steps to the rear terrace to create an alternative access from the hall to the terrace.
"The Association is extremely appreciative of Central Coast Council approving our application under the Community Infrastructure Grant program," said Association president Mr Peter Romey.
"The proposed scope of works has been developed following extensive consultation with members and the broader community," he said.
"Currently the hall hosts many community events such as the Anzac Day ceremony that involves the use of the rear terrace as a break out space.
"The terrace is undersized for this use when the hall is at full capacity and the access route to the terrace is from only one side of the hall and creates a bottleneck obstructing access to the bathrooms, particularly the disabled access bathroom.
"Also, the rear terrace is unroofed and temporary shelters are often required to protect users of the hall, particularly as the terrace is used as a backstage area during performances.
"However, it is very difficult to create an all-weather protection using such temporary structures."
Mr Romey said there was also a shortage of storage space at the hall, particularly for surplus stacked chairs and playgroup equipment.
He said the hall had a proud history for members of the Association, who raised the funds for the original purchase of the land, and who constructed the hall in 1949-50.
The idea for a hall at Pearl Beach goes back as far as 1929 when the Progress Association formed.
Association members Mr William Steinbeck, Mr James Armstrong and Mr William Frost jointly purchased the land at 9 Diamond Rd and gave it to the Association for the purpose a building a community hall.
The hall was planned as a war memorial, so contributions to the building fund became tax deductible, but an important purpose was to store fire-fighting equipment.
World War 2 called a halt to all building work that wasn't essential because of the shortage of materials, but after the war fundraising picked up with raffles, dances, street stalls and sports carnivals.
During 1949, local builders were employed on the foundations and framework and working bees under their supervision did the rest.
The building was officially opened on September 16, 1950.
"It has been extended and upgraded by the members a number of times since then and is used by many community groups and for private events," Mr Romey said.
"We are entirely responsible for the costs of ongoing maintenance and improvements and these costs are met through community fundraising such as our Easter Book Fair," he said.
Central Coast Council agenda 3.7, 25 Nov 2019
Media statement, 6 Dec 2019
Peter Romey, Pearl Beach Progress Association