THE new Nhill Aviation Heritage Centre will be complete within a month.
The $400,000 centre will house an Avro Anson aeroplane, as well as memorabilia from the Second World War when the Nhill Aerodrome was used as a training base.
Centre chairman Robert Lynch said while rain had hampered construction, the project’s first stage was completed three weeks ago.
“It was too wet for the foundations to go solid but now we have the roof, so we don’t have to worry about that so much,” he said.
“As part of the second stage we can put in the last bit of concrete, doors and windows and really finish the shed off.
“We can then apply for occupancy once we have the toilets updated and the fire system organised.
“It is looking pretty exciting at the moment.”
Mr Lynch said the 30-metre by 25-metre centre was on the same site as the aerodrome’s original Bellman Hangar.
He said one of the original five hangars was still standing.
“Three were dismantled soon after the war and another burnt down in 1948 with three Avro Ansons inside,” he said.
“It is disappointing to have lost a lot of heritage that was on the site.
“But we do have enough to keep going and things are looking up for the future.”
Mr Lynch said the centre would be an important tribute to the people, including navigators and radio operators, who trained at Nhill.
“Not many people realise there were so many 18-to-22-year-old kids who trained here and were then sent away to war,” he said.
“There were more than 10,000 and a lot of them would have perished so it is all about being a memorial for those people.
“Up until now there is little recognition of the fact that they were trained here, but people are starting to realise that these kids deserve recognition.”
Mr Lynch said the new centre would become home to an Avro Anson aeroplane which the group was restoring.
He said the plane would be restored and able to taxi by 2019, which marks 100 years since aeroplanes first landed at Nhill.