Town Hall Reopens After Refurbishment

town hall rear 2013St Mary’s Town hall has reopened for community use after completion of the refurbishment work, which has been taking place this summer.

Chief Planner Craig Dryden says the improvements are important because the building is the main cultural and entertainment hub of St Mary’s.

External improvements have included repointing and removing unnecessary clutter.

The boiler house by the bottle banks has been fitted with a pitched slate roof and rendered, which Craig feels looks better. That building now contains a state-of-the-art boiler system to keep hall attendees warm and heat the Council offices next door.

But the biggest enhancements are inside, where new toilets including disabled facilities, a new kitchen and a backstage space for performers have been developed.

The work has progressed with few complications, although asbestos had to be removed by specialists from the mainland.

Although planners approved the installation of new windows at the back of the building, they haven’t been put in. Council staff checked the museum archives and discovered that what appear to be blocked-up windows never actually contained glass.

Craig says that adding windows would have meant putting in additional sound treatment and that would have been costly.

The work has been paid for from the Council’s reserves. Grants haven’t been used but Craig hopes that funds can be sourced in the future to upgrade the venue further.

This could include Improved seating, a better audio system and more sound insulation, to increase the range of uses for the venue, he says.

He’d like Town Hall users to suggest what needs doing next.