Community invited to launch of Civic Hall Master Plan

RICHMOND Valley Council is welcoming the community to a public viewing of the draft master plan for the restoration of Casino Civic Hall, which will be held at the historic venue on Thursday 25 February from 4pm-6pm.

The draft plan sets priorities for the renewal of what is one of Casino’s signature public buildings, with the purpose of returning the 84-year-old Art Deco hall to its former glory as Casino’s performing arts and culture hub.

Council engaged architectural firm Stea Astute Architecture to prepare a detailed 70-page draft master plan for the project, using information compiled from initial community meetings and public feedback.

The consultant team included architects, a theatre consultant, acoustic consultant, structural, mechanical, electrical and hydraulic engineers, and surveyors.

Richmond Valley Council General Manager Vaughan Macdonald said the master plan contained a comprehensive list of restoration priorities, and Council now wanted to hear the community’s feedback on the plan.

“The draft plan includes modernising the hall’s facilities, such as upgrading safety and access infrastructure to meet contemporary standards, acoustic upgrades, while also to restore the original aesthetic and feel of the building as intended when it was originally opened in 1937,” Mr Macdonald said.

“This includes the restoration of the original Art Deco façade and the construction of a new entrance foyer consistent with the building’s original aesthetic, although with modern amenities and safety access points added.

“It’s vital that we not only preserve the hall’s heritage, but also work towards renewing its usage by the public as much as possible.”

Mr Macdonald said Council had already ticked off several items listed in the master plan.

“To date, Council has been successful with two funding applications to the NSW Government’s for the partial restoration of the hall,” Mr Macdonald said.

“This included $152,000 in 2018 from the Stronger Country Communities Fund in 2018 to install wall mounted fans, restore Art Deco lighting, carry out electrical upgrades, replace the main hall floor, and install under-stage flooring.

“In 2020 we also received $208,000 from the NSW Government’s Regional Cultural Fund to commence stage two, which has included internal painting, stage flooring, and the purchase of new chairs.”

Richmond Valley Mayor Robert Mustow said the Civic Hall was once the pride and joy of Casino, and a major community landmark constructed at an important time in the town’s history.

“I look forward to community members sharing their thoughts on the master plan and invite everyone to get involved and get on board with this project,” Cr Mustow said.

“The hall looks marvellous since it was repainted last year and that is another great reason to come along.”

Date: Thursday 25 February

Time: 4pm-6pm

Location: Casino Civic Hall, 161 Canterbury Street

More details: The event will be an informal gathering with a chance for the public to view the master plan and make comment, as well as see the hall since it has been repainted. Historical photos will also be on display.

Residents can also have their say by making a submission in writing to Council by one of the following methods:

Email to council@richmondvalley.nsw.gov.au

Fill out a Make a Submission form on the website here

By post to Locked Bag 10 Casino NSW 2470

Submissions close 4pm, Friday 5 March.

The master plan can also be viewed on Council’s website here

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