By Casey Neill
Weddings, dances, deb balls, citizenship ceremonies – Springvale’s City Hall has hosted them all, and more.
Thanks to a $7.7 million makeover the hall is refreshed and ready to play a key role in many more memories.
“This is just the start of a much bigger project,” Greater Dandenong Mayor Jim Memeti said.
The hall update was stage one of the $50 million Springvale Community Precinct project which is due to be delivered by the end of 2020.
It will include a new library, community meeting facilities and outdoor space, plus a refresh for the City Hall Supper Room.
The project is in the final stages of detailed design and Cr Memeti said work should start next year.
He took the Journal through the redeveloped hall on Monday 7 August.
It holds a special place in his heart. He and wife Mary married there in front of 900 people on 8 February 1992.
“This is where everyone used to get married,” he said.
“This is now a venue that could easily be used once again for weddings and functions of that calibre.
“It’s still got that old rich history but with modern facilities.”
The building now has heating and cooling and in the main hall there’s new flooring, an acoustic system and LED lighting that can change colours.
“It’s got wow factor now,” the council’s facilities co-ordinator Rebecca Jones said.
“It was utilised heavily beforehand.
“We didn’t want to go too far and change the size of the space or anything like that.
“We’ve just brought it up to date.
“We’ve been inundated with bookings already.”
Ms Jones said the changes should attract people from outside the City of Greater Dandenong and appeal to corporate, private and community bookings.
The main hall can hold 600 people downstairs and 200 people on the balcony, and the Supper Room holds 200 people.
Motorised awning windows that open onto a new paved area replaced old timber windows.
An area beside the main hall space has lighting to enable its use as a gallery space. Original wooden columns and bi-fold doors remain.
Ms Jones said the kitchen was completely gutted and replaced with two cooking spaces to cater for simultaneous events in the main hall and the Supper Room.
Professional non-slip commercial flooring has replaced dangerous tiles and there’s now a bar area and all new commercial-grade appliances.
There are new dressing rooms, staff areas and storage space and the entry has new carpet and fittings.
On the facade, City Hall lettering was removed and restored while the old City of Springvale crest was restored on the wall for fear that taking it down would destroy it.
The project has taken about nine months to complete.
“The council was thrilled to be able to deliver this project on time and on budget,” Cr Memeti said.
He’ll officially unveil the upgrade at the Mayor’s Family Fun Day on Sunday 8 October.
“We want all our community to come with their families,” he said.
There’ll be child-friendly entertainment, rides, face painting and more.