MILLVILLE – It smelled nice and looked even better - Millville unveiled its newly improved community hall March 3, with a breakfast event attended by over 100 people.
Some of the building’s changes are obvious to anyone walking in – a new floor, new walls, new windows and new lighting. Others, like the building’s newly insulated bottom floor, are more subtle.
The project started in 2013, after community members, many of whom attended school inside the building until the new St. Mary’s School was built, decided it needed to be revamped.
The Millville Community Hall group’s treasurer, Shirley Scharfe, said seeing the building restored to its former glory as a meeting place for the community has meant a lot to a large number of people.
“Community is kind of dying, and it’s actually kind of fun to bring it back,” she said.
First phase complete
The building’s repairs, which began in October, were funded in part by community and provincial grants. Grants were received from the Municipality of Kings County, as well as the province’s Communities, Culture and Heritage department, headed by Minister Leo Glavine, MLA for Kings West.
Now, in 2018, the hall is halfway done, with the building’s second floor next on the list for repairs.
Repairing the floor itself was one of the costliest aspects of the renovations. It was completely removed and redesigned and is now setting the stage for repairs to the walls, and the restoration of crown molding, the ceiling centerpiece, and woodwork on the walls.
Even the room’s chalkboards, evidence of its past as a schoolhouse, will be restored.
Scharfe said this money – with the project receiving $40,000 in provincial money alone – has meant all the difference as work continues on the historic building.
“We’re very excited, because the community is excited. We’ve had terrific support from the community, and we’re hoping we’ll get people who are interested in becoming involved,” she said.
'Big accomplishment' for Millville
Glavine was on hand at the event to give some insight into why funding the project was a priority for his department.
“This is one of those hand ups, where you can see the results – that’s what I like about this. …Investing in a community hall is one of the strongest measures we can take to support a strong, spirited community, and this is one of the best examples right here,” he said.
The building will now be used for things like birthdays and anniversaries, movie nights for kids, private events, community jam sessions and even yoga classes, which are coming March 15.
Board of Directors president Allister Palmer, whose father Alton Palmer initiated talks of revamping the building, said he’s looking forward to seeing community meet within its new walls.
“This is a big accomplishment for this community. With this new face and energy behind it, we’re looking to promote it to new people, to kids, and have succession in the future,” he said.
“It’s good progress, and we want to make sure people see that.”
Check out the hall’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Millville-Community-Hall-1530553027184265/