Community Halls ‘Glue for Community’ Concept Designs for Kiah and Wandella Halls Open for Comments | Bega District News

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More than two years after the Black Summer bushfires, there is positive sentiment about the direction of the rebuilding of the Kiah and Wandella Community Halls, with three concept designs now available for comment. Following a consultation process with local communities last year, three architects were engaged to develop initial concepts for each hall. The council’s head of infrastructure and services, Gemma Gill, said the process was designed to ensure that new halls would meet the needs of each community and meet the requirements of funding agreements. “Each community was heavily involved in the process, from helping us determine how their room should function to the details we included in the design brief,” Ms Gill said. “A key element of the brief was the communities’ desire to pay homage to the past and honor the historical significance of each hall, while looking to the future and ensuring that new halls are resilient and meet the needs generations to come.” The architects presented their initial designs at community meetings last week and are now accessible via the BVSC website for broader community feedback, where surveys can also be completed. Clare McMahon, chair of the Friends of Kiah Hall committee, said it’s been a long and difficult road, but there’s real excitement about the plans. “These are all good plans. It’s been a bit difficult to get there and suddenly we have something more concrete,” Ms McMahon said. “I think the designs are pretty close, it will be up to the community to decide. Access to the washrooms from outside the lobby like we had before would be nice.” June Tarlinton is the chair of the Wandella Hall committee and said she was very pleased with how things were progressing. “We liaised with council through all stages of the rebuild and met and saw all three concepts, as well as all interested parties and committee members,” Ms Tarlinton said. The most important thing, according to the chairman of the committee, was to see the hall rebuilt, which we hoped to see happen by June 2023. “It is the cement of the community, it is terribly important. I would like it to reflect the community itself. in the style of an actual room,” Ms Tarlinton said. She felt the concepts were solid designs and met community needs well, including open floor plans, meeting rooms, a portable stage, amenities, and a BAL rating of 40. Personal Opinion Ms. Tarlinton’s was that some of the concepts had an urbanized feel about them. “But they are all very beautiful and facing north. The reconstruction of the hall fills another gap and we are looking forward to having a place where we can meet again,” she said. Ms Tarlinton suggested that the new room in Wandella would not be suitable as a place of refuge in the event of a fire, but could be a meeting point for members of the community for an initial evacuation should the need arise. ‘to come up. “It has been a slow process, but great attention has been paid to community thoughts on rebuilding” Cobargo General Store and Eden Library also have copies of the initial designs on display, as well as printed copies of the surveys which can be returned to council or for Kiah residents, deposited at the Kiah Store. Once feedback is received, a report will be compiled for the board, including feedback from those who attended the in-person community engagement sessions. To have your say, complete the short Wandella Hall or Kiah Hall survey on the council’s website, email or post to PO Box 492, Bega NSW 2550 The architects contracted to develop the initial designs are Complete Urban, Facility Design Group and Stone Three Design. Comments on initial concepts close at 11:45 p.m. on Monday, March 21. Reconstructions of the community hall are funded by the Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund and a contribution from the council. Read also:



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