New life for old hall
By HUGH KEARNEY
KINGSCLIFF'S iconic amenities hall is slowly but surely being brought back to its original glory as the town's cultural hub.
Already the grand old lady of Kingscliff has been treated to a new roof and ceiling, with more visible refurbishments to follow.
The work has been planned by the Kingscliff Amenities Hall Rejuvenation Committee, a volunteer community group concerned at what might have happened to the much-used facility.
Built in 1961, the hall appeared to be suffering from neglect, with peeling paintwork giving it a dowdy appearance.
But committee spokesperson Rose Wright said the hall's archetypal '60s "beachside architecture" was coming back into vogue and with a bit of work, people would see its true beauty.
"This building was really ahead of its time when it was first built. It has a skillion roof which (style) you can see popping up everywhere on the new beach houses."
Ms Wright said there had been much concern and many opinions expressed on what should happen to the hall, from demolition to complete restoration.
"In the committee's opinion, there is no doubt what should happen, and that is to bring her back to life," Rose said.
"It is the most highly-used public facility in the Tweed Shire.
"This hall has been the cultural hub of Kingscliff for many years and we are going to restore her to her former glory.
"She has a new roof and ceiling, and with some further restoration and landscaping she will be as good as new."
Ms Wright said the committee was already rethinking the hall's potential uses, with a lot of emphasis on how to make it more accessible to youth.
"The hall could become a centre for youth, with a cafe where the kids can get a sense of belonging," she said.
"Youth have very little in the town, they don't have a place they can call their own."
Plans also include space for a 24-hour visitors' centre in the hall's foyer and to open the hall out on the ocean side.