DARLINGTON Hall is more accessible than ever thanks to several upgrades completed in August.
The works, which commenced in January 2018, saw a number of mandatory and desirable accessibility improvements made to the popular facility to ensure better accessibility for all users in the community.
New and improved amenities at the hall include:
- upgraded internal toilets including accessible and ambulant toilets;
- new mechanical ventilation for the amenities area;
- a new, externally accessble, public unisex toilet;
- wider doorways;
- new access ramps and paths;
- sealed car bays;
- a platform lift to the elevated stage;
- a newly painted exterior; and
- an extended verandah to enable easy access between the lesser and main halls.
Shire President John Daw said the upgrades, which comply with mandatory accessibility requirements under the Building Code of Australia, would ensure the longevity of Darlington Hall as a popular local hire space.
"These improvements have enhanced Darlington Hall as a facility that's better equipped to cater for accessibility requirements in our community," he said.
"It's now a more inclusive space and one that will continue to be enjoyed by residents for years to come."
Anita Gamba is a member of the Shire's Inclusion
and Disability Access Advisory Group (IDAAG). Ms Gamba said the upgrades had made the hall much easier to access in her wheelchair.
"The accessibility of the A.C.R.O.D car park is just brilliant; a beautiful big pathway, a lot of space, very clear access. Then coming from the parking lot along the walkways there's also a great transition; no bumps and nothing to derail me or the chair," she said.
Ms Gamba also highlighted the new ramp and lift to the elevate stage as important features of the upgrade.
"Going up and down this ramp way, the gradient is just perfect for my carer to be able to manouvre my chair safely," she said. "And the lift - it's brilliant being able to transition from the floor up to the next level without going up the stairs, absolutely perfect. Everything's been thought of and done seamlessly."
Opened in 1965 Darlington Hall holds a special place in the hearts of many locals including Ms Gamba and her family.
"This is such an iconic building in the hills environment. All my family has been involved with the use of this hall over the years...It's just got a long history of wonderful memories in my family and it's great to see that it's been upgraded to include people that are in my position, that is, not able to walk or access anything.
"Everything about the upgrade is top class. I can only compliment the contractors and the designers who put it all together and it's also extremely pleasing to the eye. It's magnificent," she said.
A number of community groups, including a subcommittee of the Darlington Ratepayers and Residents Association, were also involved in an extensive consultation process to ensure refurbishments would fit the community's purposes.
Peter Horobin of the DRRA commended the finished hall as product of co-operation between the Shire and the local community.
"I have to say that the hall looks fantastic," said Mr Horobin. "The modifications to the hall are a great credit to the people of Darlington and the Shire of Mundaring, especially Shane Purdy and his team.
"I think that both parties should be very proud that they were able to communicate so well from the beginning of the project and throughout. The structure, that is the result, is an excellent physical recognition of the success of that communication," Mr Horobin added.
George Grayston, also from the DRRA, said, "We enjoyed a concert in the new Darlington Hall…and the result is excellent. The Shire are to be complimented. The care in matching the finishes and fittings of the old buildings is particularly pleasing, as are the new toilets," he added.
For more information about Darlington Hall and other halls and recreation centres in the Shire of Mundaring visit the Shire website.
Please direct booking enquiries to the Shire's booking officer on 9290 6731 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
PICTURED ABOVE: Back: Shane Purdy - SoM Director Infrastructure, Chris Pemberton - DRRA Secretary, Rene Baur - SoM Manager Building Assets, George Grayston - DRRA, Bruce McLennan - SoM Building Maintenance Officer, Josephine Jones - Darlington Review Business Manager, and SoM President John Daw. Front: Anita Gamba - IDAAG, holding Stewie.