REPRESENTATIVES of all sections of the community will be gathering in the Parish Hall in Magheralin to re-open after the renovations this weekend.
The re-opening marks the culmination of almost 14 weeks of building work during which the hall has been extensively refurbished and upgraded to better meet the needs of those who use on a regular basis and to enable it to be used by a greater range of organisations and groups in the future.
The old stage has been taken away and a new area formed to accommodate chairs, a new portable stage and equipment for organisations. Above this, there is now a new meeting room.
New low energy lighting has been installed as well as a much higher standard of insulation throughout, all of which will result in lower energy and heating costs.
The work was completed just in time for the very successful Festival of Christmas Trees at the start of December when it was estimated over 2,000 people came to the hall for mince pies and tea.
The Rector of the Parish, Canon Gareth Harron said: “The newly refurbished hall will play a key part in our mission and ministry as we seek to reach out to everyone in the community. We are particularly grateful to the Rural Development Council and the International Fund for Ireland for providing funding towards the project and so enabling us to carry out these much needed improvements.
“I would like to pay tribute to all who have been involved in the work, especially the builders, Viewpoint Developments, and the architects, Waddington McClure. They have done a magnificent job.”
Rural Development Council Director of Programmes, Olga Gallagher congratulated the Parish and said: “Community halls such as that in Magheralin provide invaluable venues which offer an opportunity to maintain and develop an active and vibrant community where a wide range of activities can take place.
“Making the most of an opportunity such as this requires hard work and dedication, but I have no doubt that those qualities will be present in abundance in Magheralin.”
The opening ceremony will take place this Saturday, January 19, between 10am and 12 noon. Bishop Harold Miller and Bishop Ken Clarke, a former curate of the parish, will both be taking part. Also in place will be an exhibition featuring a range of activities promoting health related activities and lifestyles together with information from other community and statutory bodies.
The opportunity will also be taken to showcase some of the activities currently taking place within the Parish.