There is more at stake than a new library / learning centre and hall with the announced proposal.
The current location of the small library at the railway station has hindered development of modern library facilities, especially for students and youth and indeed the railway station itself.
There are some downstream effects that we need to consider:
Freeing the Railway Station for tourist development.
Few towns have an historic railway station smack bang in the middle of their CBD. Even then they still manage to make worthwhile use of them.
The housing of the library in the middle of the station building has long paralysed its use for other purposes.
Previous attempts have been thwarted by the library occupying the prime space.
A tourist point / cellar door or other traveller related outlet would act as a tourist tripwire across the Mitchell highway – to the benefit of the whole town.
This idea has been around for generations. Now is the time to finally act.
Providing community function/meeting rooms.
Since the closure of the condemned Mitchell Room ages ago there has been no facility for community and charity groups to meet or conduct their activities.
The UPA and HealthOne have generously assisted but not all activities are compatible and there is limited access to HealthOne after hours.
Community Hall upgrades.
The Community Hall is, well, pretty sad.
The entrance is inaccessible and looks like a public toilet.
One of the hall’s major users, the annual month long Molong Players theatre production, was postponed in 2017.
The show brings up to 2000 visitors and local school and sporting groups miss out on funds from catering for the shows.
But equally, if not more important, is the need for a modern multi-purpose hall with catering facilities that tourism and other event managers have assured us will attract regional conferences, weddings, Association dinners, entertainment events – you name it.
When Langdon’s on Peabody closed some years ago it was booking nearly a wedding or function every fortnight.
All of which brings economic benefit to the district.
Everything seems to take so long – hopefully this time a significant project can go ahead.