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Last modified: 18 May 2022 3:44pm

shot of the front exterior of the refurbished hall

A project to restore the historic Southbridge Hall has been completed ready for the community to make new history in the building.

A community fun day will be held on Sunday 29 May to celebrate the reopening of the hall, with activities for the kids, with a jump jam performance from Southbridge School, free sausage sizzle, free face painting, a free bouncy castle and more.

The project has seen a replacement of the existing 26 Crittal style windows with identical steel replicas, re-rendering and full repaint of the exterior, new roof claddings and upgrades to the Thompson Memorial Library and the Southbridge Community Pool.

The Crittal style windows are rare in New Zealand and particularly Canterbury. The current hall was built in 1930, after the original wooden hall burned down. The project to restore the hall included a great deal of care to ensure the historic features of the hall were retained as required for a heritage building and to retain that history for the town. The restoration faced a number of disruptions from various COVID-19 pandemic restrictions which delayed the completion of the project.

It included the restoration of the Thompson Memorial Library, named after Charles Darlington Thompson who was town clerk for 23 years and the town librarian and donated his whole estate to fund the library when he died. Along with restoring the hall, the Council also upgraded the heating systems for the Southbridge Community Pool. This project completes upgrades over the past seven years along the main street of Southbridge including the rebuild of the changing rooms, public toilet and admin areas at the pool and to the Southbridge Reserve, providing a link on both sides of the high street for key community facilities.

It is exciting to see the restored hall reopened for the community, Council Group Manager Property Douglas Marshall.
“Southbridge Hall is an important historic building for Southbridge and for the whole district and we’re really grateful for the huge
amount of work the project team has put in over a stressful time to complete this restoration. It’s good to see this community asset, which people have enjoyed for so long, ready for Southbridge residents to enjoy.”