From start to finish: The highlights (and lowlights) of the renovations to the Bendigo (St John’s) Presbyterian Church Hall

Here’s our tale…if you’re interested, read on!

May 2011: The Ministry Development Committee (MDC) of the PCV announced that $1.2 million worth of Capital Grants would be available. PCV congregations were encouraged to apply.

June 2011: The Board of Management submitted an application for a Capital Grant of $150,000 to upgrade kitchen and toilet facilities (one of many applications from numerous PCV congregations that totaled $6 million!).

August 2011: The Board was advised that their application had been short-listed and requested to submit a more detailed application with plans and funding proposals. The Board resolved to apply, subject to a good response to an appeal for pledges toward the project from the congregation.

October 2011: Noting that $38,200 was pledged, the Board agreed to continue with the application process. Kevin Slater (building designer/draftsman) was engaged and plans were drawn up and approved by the Board.

November 2011: Congregation and Presbytery approval was obtained for Stage 1 works and the Board submitted its application to the MDC. It was agreed that Stage 2 works (the lowering of the hall ceiling) be considered at a later date. The application was successful (rated by the MDC as ‘one of the best’) with $140,000 awarded for the project. The Board began the process of getting quotes from builders.

February 2012: The Board applied to Presbytery for permission to apply to the PCV’s Board of Investment and Finance (BIF) for $50,000 of the monies available from the sale of the Wycheproof Manse to ascertain if Stage 2 could be funded. Firm quotes for Stage 1 were received and clarified by the Board.

March 2012: Robert Phillips’ quote for Stage 1 works was accepted by the Board and arrangements were set in place for the works to begin in April. Active termites were discovered in Upper Room and the project was indefinitely postponed until the termites had been treated.

June 2012: After some months of slow progress, a new pest control company was engaged and it was confirmed that the termites had been eradicated. A starting date on the project was set for July 9. A working bee was held to remove furniture and items from the Hall, Upper Room, stage and kitchen to facilitate this commencement. The Board engaged a structural engineer to assess the possibility of Stage 2 works.

July 2012: Stage 1 renovation works began. Regular fortnightly meetings between Board reps and Robert Phillips began and a green light was given by the engineer for Stage 2.

August 2012: The Board resolved to recommend that Stage 2 works proceed and a quote from Robert Phillips was accepted by the Board. Approval to proceed was also obtained from the congregation and the Presbytery.

September 2012: Despite being informed that its application to use some of the Wycheproof monies had been denied by the BIF, the Board resubmitted another application to Presbytery to be forwarded to the BIF for these funds. Stage 2 works were completed!

October 2012: Use of the new toilets was permitted and the old toilets were demolished. The Board called for a working bee to put furniture and items back into the hall, new kitchen and Upper room. Finally, approval from the Presbytery and BIF to use $50,000 of the Wycheproof monies 🙂 The new kitchen and the renovated hall were used for the first time by the congregation on October 21. The large cupboard in the hall was removed and the concrete ramp with rails followed. Everything completed – inside and out (except kitchen roller shutters)! Opened 28/10/12!

“Thanks be to God!”

End footnote: The Kitchen roller shutters were installed on Monday October 29 🙂