HORSHAM Rural City Council has received $200,000 from the Victorian Government's Living Heritage program, to help instal a new floor for the Horsham Town Hall auditorium.
The project budget is $534,715, including $200,000 from the Living Heritage program and a $334,715 contribution from the council via the 2021/2022 and 2022/23 capital works programs.
First opened in 1939, this auditorium has been Horsham's premier venue for public functions, including wedding receptions, fashion shows, debutante balls, concerts and trade shows.
But its floor has reached the end of its life, with the boards no longer able to be sanded, and sub-floor issues seeing the floor sinking at the rear.
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Horsham Rural City Council's coordinator for strategic planning and heritage, Stephanie Harder, notes the extreme care taken to ensure the heritage values of the floor remain intact.
"The grant received through the Living Heritage program will see the removal of all the existing floorboards, and a replacement like-for-like floorboards," Ms Harder said.
"After scientific analysis, the original floorboards have been identified as Mountain Ash. Care will be given to ensure the wood varnish applied draws out the same light yellow and pale pink colours of the floorboards seen today."
The sub-floor, including the stumps and joists, will also be replaced, and issues relating to former water damage under the floor will be investigated.
The new sub-floor system will be designed to minimise and mitigate movement and damage to the floor in the long term.
The like-for-like reconstruction ensures the floor's traditional carpentry style and architectural qualities are protected into the future.
Parts of the original floor will be retained at the entrance for heritage conservation.
This project follows on from extensive conservation works carried out in the Horsham Town Hall redevelopment, which included refurbishment of the gallery terrazzo floor, re-upholstering of seating in the balcony, painting with heritage colour schemes and the repair of art deco lights.
Preparation of the floorboards will start in November 2021. Works are scheduled for November 2022.
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