Iconic Centenary Hall relaunch after major restoration

Albion Park’s iconic Centenary Hall will be ‘relaunched’ with a retro event after an extensive refurbishment costing $600,000.

Constructed in 1959, Centenary Hall has played an important role in the city’s history and is one of the city’s largest public halls.

The refurbishment represents a significant investment in the western part of the city and was designed to restore and protect the building’s local heritage significance.

Council engaged Department of Public Works in 2016 to undertake a condition assessment and compliance report on Centenary Hall.

This report identified refurbishment works required to address non-compliances where practical, to improve general amenity and to refresh existing finishes.

As this building is of local heritage significance, consultation with Council’s Heritage Officer took place to ensure that the scope of works for delivery considered the heritage significance of the building.

The project included restoring original components of the building, landscaping, improved accessibility with ramps and handrails to the exterior of the building and building a fully compliant commercial kitchen including replacing existing cooking equipment.

Mayor Marianne Saliba said the end result was wonderful and that she was pleased the building’s historic importance was celebrated and preserved.

“Centenary Hall is recognised an Item of Local Heritage Significance. It has local aesthetic significance as a fine and rare example of the post war international style of architecture,” Cr Saliba said.

“The building also has local social significance as an important public facility which has been used for varied community events and functions since its construction.

“The hall also has strong associations with the showground, the pastoral and agricultural community, other nearby civic uses as well as local government.

Cr Saliba said she was extremely proud of the work that Councillors and staff had done to ensure the refurbishment was fitting of such an important building.

“The upgrades, which are inevitable and necessary for a building as it ages, have been undertaken with due respect to the intent and integrity of the original building,” she said.
“This ensures that the story and importance of this iconic public building continues with the ongoing use of this facility by current and future generations of our community,” she said.

Centenary Hall – general information

Centenary Hall was constructed in 1959 at a cost of 40,000 pounds by Shellharbour Municipal Council, as the focus of centenary celebrations for local government in the area (1859 - 1959).

A street procession ending at Centenary Hall was at the heart of the formal centenary celebrations and headed by prominent citizens Paddy O'Gorman and Darcy Dunster.

Centenary Hall originally featured a Tallowood dance floor and stage with change rooms, a library, an office, and toilet facilities. Upstairs was a kitchen, supper room and store room.

The main purpose of this public hall was to show films, however, with the introduction of television soon after the hall was completed, few films were viewed there. Instead, it was used for balls, dances, weddings and other functions.

The rooms in the building were also used for meetings, Meals on Wheels as well as for technical college classes.

There are multiple users of the kitchen facilities and the main hall and annexe are used for local community events. The hall seats up to 290 people, with a stage and two dressing rooms.

Media enquiries: Kelli Wells 0448 361 008.